- By Jenna Lawson Staff Writer
A store owner taking extra precaution — resulted in weapons kept out of the hands of suspected thieves during a break-in.
Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to Buck Creek Carry Out around 1:20 a.m. on Tuesday on report of a break-in.
According to a court affidavit, the responding deputy found two rocks that were thrown at one of the business’ windows, but nothing appeared to be missing from the store.
Court documents say witness statements from neighbors led a deputy from the sheriff’s office to the suspects, who were seen walking in the area. In one case, the two actually stopped to talk with a neighbor and told him there was something going on at the carry out.
The affidavit states that the deputy was able to confirm the suspects’ identities thanks to surveillance footage.
Jerome Wood Jr., 28 of Springfield and a 17-year-old boy are now facing charges.
The video shows two males in hoodies throw rocks at the window and run back to a line of bushes. Another shot shows the suspects inside the store, quickly moving toward the gun counter, but it appears one of the suspects hesitates when he looks down at the empty counter.
The pair left the store without taking anything, and they were taken into custody within minutes of the business’ alarm sounding, according to an incident report.
Buck Creek Carry Out owner Sharon Eldridge said she locks all weapons down at night out of an abundance of caution.
“Every night. Every gun goes in the safe. Everything’s secure,” she said. “In this business, if they get a hold of these weapons that are so controlled and so protected — they’re not doing anything good.”
Eldridge said this is her 13th break-in in the 30 years the carry out has been in business — it’s why she has other safeguards in place like metal slide-down doors and the six-camera surveillance system.
“You take every precaution to keep it out of those kinds of people’s hands,” she said.
Surveillance also shows the suspects in the store during the afternoon prior to the break-in. An outside camera shows the two arriving at the store with a woman in a bright green car. The males are wearing hoodies that look like ones worn by the suspects arrested Tuesday morning. They speak with Eldridge and handle various firearms for at least 20 minutes. Eldridge said she thinks they were casing the place, but they spent enough time in the store that she was able to remember them.
A not guilty plea was entered for Wood Jr. in Clark County Municipal Court on Tuesday. He also has two previous pending assault charges, in which Judge Thomas Trempe also entered not guilty pleas. His bond for all three charges totaled $4,500.
The repair to Eldridge’s broken window was estimated at around $1,000 and she was told it would be replaced Tuesday.
Wood Jr. is being held in the Clark County Jail and the 17-year-old is in custody at the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center.
“It’s a relief when they’re caught and away and not able to hurt you again,” Eldridge said.