Man accused of ripping out ceiling of attorney’s office to rob neighboring business

Posted at 7:08 PM, Apr 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-29 19:08:20-04

It's getting patched up now, but police say James Thomas tore a hole in the ceiling right over Attorney Dan Crumpler's office bathroom.

Crumpler discovered the damage Sunday night and called the cops.

They could tell the burglar used his entry point to gain access to the coin store next door.

He stole $1,000 in cash and coins.

Warren Myers says police believed the burglar was only doing prep work for a bigger break-in. Crumpler and Myers asked the Franklin Police Chief to assign an officer to do a stakeout inside the building. The chief said no.

The owners took action to hire retired Franklin officer Ronnie McClenny to stand watch inside the building Sunday night. McClenny called the cops and they found Thomas on the roof with a bag of tools in hand.

Since Thomas' arrest Sunday night, Southampton authorities have now connected Thomas to four other burglaries and larcenies this year. Crumpler and Myers say that proves having someone in the building to catch the crook was the right call.