Investigators: Burglary suspect is a "crime threat"

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ANDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Investigators say one man is behind a rash of brazen break-ins that are happening in the middle of the day.

"No one's home is safe," stated Detective Bryan Taylor of the Anderson County Sheriff's Office.

Detective Taylor says he and several other agencies are all labeling James Lopez, Jr. their "person of interest" in a crime spree across at least five counties. Between Anderson County and Mercer County he's accused of targeting nearly a dozen homes. On top of that he's suspected in similar crimes in Boyle County and Lincoln County, and has a warrant for his arrest in Casey County.

"Most of these burglaries were all connected in the method of operation that was taking place," explained Detective Taylor.

The method: the suspect knocks on the door and if no one answers he breaks down the back door or window and tears apart the inside. Investigators say the most common items taken are jewelry, prescription drugs, and money.

"Most definitely he is a property crime threat," stated Detective Taylor.

Victims want him found almost as much as investigators.

"It's a horrible thing to have happen to anyone and I hope they catch the person who's done it," said Shirley McKinley, a victim from the suspect's series of crimes in Mercer County.

"He is dangerous at this point in time," added Detective Taylor, "It could escalate into a 'knock and talk' type profile burglary, where someone is home which could escalate into a home invasion type of crime."

Because he believes Lopez is such a risk, Detective Taylor says he's working with nearly a dozen other agencies trying to find this "person of interest."

"These burglaries aren't going to stop until this person of interest or someone does catch him in the act. He's going to be found. That's a definite. That's definitely going to happen."

Which would go a long way to close a lot of cases, and stop a lot more from happening in a lot of counties.

Investigators say that Lopez is believed to be driving a silver passenger car, with a spare tire on one of the front tires.

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