GALLIPOLIS — Gallia County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Pickaway County man Monday for attempted burglaries in the Spring Valley area, as well as a probation violation in Franklin County and a failure to appear for court proceedings in Athens County.
Richard Clements Jr., 38, of Circleville, was charged with attempted burlgary and is suspected of more burglary cases in Gallia County, according to Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning.
While continuing investigations regarding other break-ins, Browning said deputies had been investigating a pair of burglaries at the same residence on Circle Drive in late January and early February. Officers worked with the homeowner to establish a surveillance system.
“We felt like there was a pattern of conduct there that indicated the (suspect) may come back to that scene,” Browning said. He said the suspect “struck” the residence once before returning again a few days later.
“The first time they removed a large amount of firearms from the residence,” Browning said. “The second time they removed ammunition and some other items. We felt like they were targeting the homeowner and maybe watching them come and go. One of the things we did as an investigative technique was deploy portable surveillance cameras that we have at our disposal. We can move them around from place to place.”
Early on Feb. 6, Browning said the homeowner returned home and found an unknown vehicle in his driveway. The homeowner approached his house and spotted a man coming around the corner. The homeowner confronted the other man about why he was on the property. The unknown man gave the homeowner an excuse before fleeing on foot. The homeowner had parked behind the unknown man’s suspected vehicle, blocking him in.
“We had the vehicle,” Browning said. “We had a person that was seen and a description. We checked our surveillance cameras and we got footage of that person that we subsequently posted on the sheriff’s office Facebook page. The names we were given as to the possible identity of that suspect and who he may be running around with matched the registered owner of the vehicle. He wasn’t the registered owner, but we feel it may be his associate’s car.”
The sheriff credited identification of Clements Jr. and the vehicle’s identification to information gleaned from social media posts. Browning said the suspect had been indicted by the Gallia County Grand Jury last week.
“We searched a place out on (State Route) 141 last week pursuant to a search warrant, trying to find him,” Browning said. “We got information last night that he was at the apartments on Buck Ridge Road. The deputies located him there last night and he was taken into custody.”
Browning said law enforcement strongly felt the suspect of the alleged burglaries to be Clements. The sheriff said law enforcement also believes they may have video footage of Clements allegedly attempting to break into a home on Feb. 6.
Browning said the investigation is still ongoing and requests the public to come forward with any further information. Pickaway County authorities informed Browning that Clements allegedly had a previous record for burglaries and spent time in prison. Supposedly, Clements has a warrant in Athens County and another in Franklin County for an alleged probation violation.
Browning said there may be several cases that potentially involve Clements and he asks the public to call the sheriff’s office with any tips had ta (740) 446-6555.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.