A man with possible connections to home invasions around central Kentucky decided to turn himself in Friday — right here in Pulaski County.
James C. Lopez, Jr., 42, was arrested Friday on a Casey County District Court warrant on charges of Burglary Second Degree and Theft by Unlawful Taking.
Lopez had drawn attention from state media reports in recent days due to a suspected involvement in break-ins in multiple counties. Although Casey County is the one that had a warrant out for Lopez’s arrest, Lopez has been featured in media reports in the past few days as being a suspect in burglaries in Mercer, Anderson, Casey, and Pulaski Counties.
WKYT.com reported that the suspect in the break-ins would “knock on the door and if no one answers ... break down the back door or window and tear apart the inside.”
Lt. Shannon Smith of the Somerset Police Department said that his agency had been in contact with Lopez since around 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Smith said that Lopez personally knew an officer on the police force, Matthew Gates, and as such, “trusted us.” Lopez talked to a detective who is a brother of that officer, Chris Gates, and got “negotiations started” to turn himself in.
Smith said the media attention on Lopez was likely a key reason for the voluntary arrest. “I think he wanted to get a lot of this stuff behind him,” said Smith.
Lopez was at an “undisclosed location” outside Pulaski County during negotiations and phoned Police Friday to let them know he was on his way into Pulaski. SPD met him at a location in the Eubank area and took him into custody.
“It went smooth as anticipated,” said Smith. “He was cordial and cooperative the whole time.”
Lopez was escorted back to the Casey County Jail by that county’s sheriff’s department, though Smith noted other agencies came and talked to Lopez while he was in custody about cases in other counties.
Smith did says that Lopez was a suspect in a couple of Pulaski cases which they wished to “touch base with him on,” but no charges were put on Lopez by the Somerset Police Department as of yet.