The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office reported the arrest of a suspected serial burglar Tuesday, who they believe was responsible for a string of home break-ins along Fort Morgan Road during the spring and early summer.
According to a news release, both occupied and vacant residences were entered during nighttime hours, leading deputies to review surveillance video and step up patrols. But reportedly, “the number of burglaries in the area slowed down and eventually ceased.”
Then, during the month of August, the Gulf Shores Police Department responded to burglaries in their jurisdiction similar in nature to those along Fort Morgan Road. Investigators with both agencies teamed up to search for and arrest the suspect, who they believed was living in the surrounding woods, but would break unoccupied summer homes for a period of time before leaving and moving to another home.
Although there were sightings of the suspect in September that led to several manhunts in the area, the news release said the suspect was able to elude law enforcement on every occasion.
But last month, investigators got a break in the case when they were able to put a name to the face that had been seen on surveillance video during the investigation Gulf Shores investigations.
The suspect was identified as 34-year-old Joseph Reed of Foley, but still, he couldn’t be located. Investigators believed Reed traveled to the Yupon area west of Magnolia Springs, where additional thefts and burglaries were reported, closely matched the methods from Fort Morgan and Gulf Shores.
Again, there were three manhunts in Magnolia Springs but each time, Reed was able to elude capture, with investigators citing the terrain and his familiarity with the area. During one of the manhunts, Reed discarded a loaded firearm.
But on Nov. 18, BCSO investigators received a tip from the public that Reed was traveling to the Flamingos gas station in Foley at the intersection of U.S. Route 98 and the Foley Beach Express. There, they staked out the business until Reed arrived in a vehicle.
Upon his arrival, police claim “Reed immediately ran from the vehicle into a neighboring mobile home park,” but was “eventually taken into custody after a brief foot chase.”
He was treated for a head injury at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center and then transported to the Baldwin County Corrections Center in Bay Minette, where he was being held without bond Tuesday on two felony warrants, but also facing charges including unlawful possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest and attempting to elude.
The news release said Reed may face additional charges from multiple law enforcement agencies and noted the arrest was made possible with the assistance of the police departments of Gulf Shores and Foley, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s air unit, a K-9 unit from the Alabama Department of Corrections, and contributions from both the public and the media.
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