Alleged storage unit burglar caught on video footage

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 17, 2013 

Jake Norris

A man who allegedly broke into multiple storage units claimed he was just trying to replace goods that were already stolen from him, according to Recorder's Court testimony.

Jake Norris appeared in court on Thursday. He is charged with five counts of second-degree burglary and one count of criminal trespass and damage to property.

The charges are divided between two crimes. Norris allegedly broke into three storage units at Fountain Mini Storage, on 6165 Veterans Pkwy.

A detective testified in court that after video from the storage company positively identified Norris, a warrant was issued for his arrest. But then Norris was arrested in Alabama and had only just been released on Wednesday.

While in custody, Norris admitted to breaking into the units, the detective said — but Norris had an excuse: his own things had been stolen when he was in jail and he was only trying to replace those missing items, such as clothes.

Norris allegedly told the detective that the stolen property had already been sold on the street.

Norris is also charged with burglarizing two units at Uncle Bob's Storage.

There as well, video showed Norris' vehicle "very distinctly" breaking through the fence surrounding the property and the driving up to the two units, whose locks were then cut, a sergeant said in court.

The sergeant said that Norris did not take anything from one of the units ("Everything was strewn about," she said); Norris allegedly took more than $1,800 in property from the second unit.

After Norris' arrest, the sergeant said she spoke with him briefly. He allegedly admitted to her that he had broken into those two units as well — and offered the same excuse as for the other burglaries.

Norris did not testify in Recorder's Court.

Judge Michael Cielinski set $10,000 for four of Norris' burglary charges and $20,000 for the fifth; he set $1,000 for the criminal trespass and damage to property.

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