Store Owners Suffer Repeated Break-Ins - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/13/03

Store Owners Suffer Repeated Break-Ins

For weeks, the owners of Maggie's Antiques in Savannah have had to race to their store in the middle of the night because the burglar alarm kept going off. It happened again last night, but hopefully for the last time. Savannah police took a man into custody they believe is responsible. But it took an all-out effort to make this arrest.

After two warnings, police K-9 Nero trotted in to claim his suspect. This is what it finally took to catch the man police believe has broken in repeatedly to Maggie's. Once Nero fetched his suspect, police moved in for the arrest. Officers pulled out 40-year-old Richard Spencer III.

"We felt relieved and thankful because this has been going on for several months," said store owner Kathryn Murray.

Murray and her family have been spending almost as many nights as they do days at their antique shop. "We were averaging two or three nights a week, having to come in at two or three o'clock in the morning and not being able to catch them," she said.

In the last two weeks alone, someone has tried to break in six separate times, but finally early this morning, police believe they found their man. "This man had an extensive criminal record where he had been arrested numerous times in Chatham County," said police spokesman Bucky Burnsed. "It's a significant arrest because he's one of the people who has a tendency to be a repeat customer."

"He was really determined," said Murray. "So were police."

Spencer was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a bite to his ankle. He's now behind bars facing charges of burglary.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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