Lebanon police charged a homeless man Saturday in connection with a home burglary reported earlier that day.
“We’re dealing with this somewhat throughout the city, where homeless people are squatting in places they shouldn’t be and committing crimes in those areas,” said Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen.
Nicholas R. Jones, 19, was charged with aggravated burglary, theft of property, vandalism and trespassing after police found him in possession of items reported stolen from a home on Melrose Avenue.
According to police, the homeowner reported someone had forced open the rear door and taken several items, including cash.
The owner was not home when the items were taken.
Officer Paul Scheppf, who responded to the alleged burglary, later went to check in a vacant house – also on Melrose Avenue – and found Jones sleeping in the house. According to police, Scheppf recognized items located near Jones as items reported stolen during the earlier burglary.
“We got the homeowner’s property back, and we were able to return everything within five to six hours,” said Bowen.
The house where Jones was found is often frequented by “squatters,” according to Bowen.
Staff writer Sara McManamy-Johnson can be reached at 615-444-3952, ext. 16 or firstname.lastname@example.org.