A surveillance camera in the toy aisle of Dollar General in Centertown helped catch an uncle and his nephew after they committed a home invasion.
The suspects, Robert F. Odom and his nephew, Justin K. Odom, entered guilty pleas before Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley to charges of aggravated burglary. The elder Odom was directed to serve 180 days of a six-year sentence, while the nephew was granted a four-year judicial diversion meaning he will serve no jail time. His girlfriend, Shauan Carrick, charged with driving their get-away vehicle, will be in court Aug. 22.
The suspects were charged after two men forced their way into a Centertown residence waving a gun.
“They asked him if he wanted to die,” said sheriff’s investigator Steven Carpenter of the home invasion, noting one of the men pointed the gun at the victim.
The victim was able to get away when the men turned their attention to burglarizing the house.
However, during a walk-thru of the home by Carpenter during the investigation, a key piece of evidence was found.
“There was a toy gun that was found at the scene and the victim said it did not belong to him,” Carpenter said, noting it occurred to him that perhaps it was the gun used in the home invasion.
Carpenter said he learned a couple of people fitting the description of the burglars had been seen at the nearby Dollar General.
“That’s when I thought that maybe they had gotten the toy gun from there,” Carpenter said, stating he had the manager pull surveillance tape of the toy aisle. “That’s when I saw Mr. Odom on the video.”
Knowing they had bought the toy gun used in the robbery at Dollar General, Carpenter then went down the street and pulled surveillance video from Kat’s Diner around the time of the home invasion. It was then the investigator saw the Odoms getting out of a vehicle and leaving on foot around the time of the crime, suggesting they had parked there and walked over to the victim’s home to commit the crime.