A man who terrorized businesses across the county with a series of smash-and-grab robberies has been sentenced to 15 years in the state penitentiary.
The burglar, Joseph W. Muncey, 32, has entered guilty pleas to charges of burglary and was directed to serve 15 years.
The smash-and-grab burglaries included two break-ins each at Smoke Shop and Three Pigs BBQ, both on Sparta Street, and S. Chancery BP. There were also single burglaries at Sew Sweet Embroidery, Subway at Smartt Station and Old Smithville BP.
In most cases, Muncey gained access by smashing a window and then grabbing whatever items he could carry, including money and cigarettes. The burglaries had authorities scratching their heads as the serial burglar hit with regularity.
However, Muncey, who lived close to five of the burglaries, was caught in the act of breaking into Three Pigs BBQ for a second time.
“He fled from behind the building with a crow bar in his hand,” said McMinnville policeman Kenneth Seagraves, noting the burglar sprinted away as officers approached.
Following a foot chase in the neighborhood off Sparta Street, Muncey broke into a house to seek refuge, that break-in also resulting in charges.
“He beat on the door before busting it open,” Seagraves said of Muncey’s attempt to escape, noting Muncey almost got beat up before police arrived. “The resident hid his fiancé in a closet and attempted to strike the suspect with an object.”
The resident opened the door and Muncey surrendered to police.
While he may have been working alone on some heists, at least one break-in, the one at Subway, has a video showing two burglars. Charges are pending against an alleged partner in crime for the Subway heist.