GALLIPOLIS — A Gallipolis man was sentenced Monday to six-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to three different crimes, one involving a jewelry store theft, in Gallia County Court of Common Pleas.
Joshua Queen, 33, of Gallipolis, was indicted in September 2015. As part of a plea bargain, Queen pleaded guilty to burglarizing a home on Yellowtown Road in Gallia County in June 2015.
According to information collected from the Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office, the homeowner returned home to see a gun safe cut open and several weapons missing from it. Gallia County sheriff’s deputies arrived to take reports and investigate the scene. A cigarette butt was discovered in the driveway of the residence. The homeowner denied it belonging to him. Authorities then sent the butt off to an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation laboratory. DNA results reportedly pointed toward it having been smoked by Queen.
Queen also pleaded guilty to an attempted burglary of another home on First Avenue in August 2015 in Gallipolis. Security cameras pictured Queen hopping the fence onto the property. He attempted to enter the home in two spots but failed to gain entry.
Acquisitions Fine Jewelry on Second Avenue in Gallipolis suffered a break-in around 2 a.m. Sept. 2, 2015. Business surveillance cameras spotted two individuals kicking the side window of the main entrance. Both individuals walked toward a case with stockings over their heads and heavy clothing over their bodies. Both individuals broke the glass case and escaped from the area within 50 seconds after looting the contents. Gallipolis police responded to the crime within a minute and 30 seconds when the business’ security alarm was tripped.
Queen was arrested for the crime Sept. 10, 2015. He pleaded guilty to the jewelry theft. According to the Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office, more than $7,500 worth of jewelry was taken from the location. Police discovered blood inside the glass case that suspects had smashed and sent it to an Ohio BCI lab for testing. Test results pointed back to Queen.
After the guilty plea, Gallia County Assistant Prosecutor Britt Wiseman presented what the state felt would have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Queen had committed the crimes.
The attempted burglary was a fifth-degree felony. One burglary Queen pleaded guilty to was of the third degree. The theft charge was a fourth-degree felony.
“There is absolutely no excuse for residents of Gallia County to have to put up with the actions of someone like this,” said Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins. “The message from my office is clear. Keep away from other people’s hard-earned property. And if for some reason you are incapable of doing so, you will be prosecuted and serve time in prison. It’s a simple message and one that my office will continue pursuing.”
According to Gallipolis Police Chief Jeff Boyer, the second suspect in the jewelry theft case is still at large.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.