A man with an extensive criminal history that dates back to 1998 was arrested early Tuesday morning after he tried to burglarize 3 Pigs BBQ on Sparta Street.
Joseph Muncey, 32, was captured by McMinnville Police after a foot chase that saw him break down the front door of a nearby home in an effort to hide from officers.
“We’re still working on connecting him to the other burglaries in the area and there’s no doubt we suspect he is,” said McMinnville police investigator Capt. Derwin Adcock. “He’s using the same MO and he was caught trying to break into a business that had already been hit once before.”
Muncey served time previously when he was sentenced for burglary and theft in February 2009. Police have been looking for the person or persons responsible for a string of break-ins that have been taking place for around a month.
Muncey currently faces two counts of aggravated burglary and one count of evading arrest.
Jail records list Muncey’s address as Edison Street, which is one of the side streets off Sparta Street where several burglaries have occurred. The Smoke Shop on Sparta Street was hit again Sunday night, the second time that business has been burglarized. Sew Sweet Embroidery has been burglarized, as has 3 Pigs BBQ.
After 3 Pigs BBQ was hit the first time, owner Lane Fawcett vowed to improve his security. It was that security system which ultimately led to Muncey’s capture.
Police responded to a burglar alarm at 3 Pigs that went off at 12:19 a.m. Tuesday morning. The suspect was trying to gain entry through the back door.
The suspect fled on foot when police arrived and was able to elude officers initially when they chased him on foot. However, officers scoured the area for around an hour. Muncey was spotted on a front porch on Mauzy Street and broke down the front door when an officer converged. He was taken into custody at that residence.
“Our police department deserves praise for the work they did in catching this guy,” said Fawcett, who arrived on the scene about 10 minutes after the burglar alarm sounded. “He got away the first time, but they stayed out here looking for him until they finally caught him. Maybe this will send a message to other people that if you’re going to do something like this, you’re going to get caught.”
In addition to the Sparta Street area, businesses on S. Chancery Street and in Morrison have been burglarized over the past month. The BP on S. Chancery Street has been targeted, as has Simply Southern Cafe.
In Morrison, the Subway restaurant was burglarized, as was Helton Inc. All the break-ins happened after regular business hours.
In the case of the Helton burglary, two Hispanic men were caught on video surveillance at First National Bank cashing one of the stolen checks for $900. That piece of evidence indicates the same person may not be responsible for all the recent burglaries.