BENTON – A Franklin County man has been found guilty in connection with a burglary last October at the former Bombardier boat factory, which now belongs to SI Storm Shelters in Benton.
According to Franklin County State’s Attorney Abby Dinn, a jury found 43-year-old Jeremy L. Roberson of Benton guilty of Burglary, Theft and Criminal Damage to Property in Excess of $500 Wednesday in the first jury trial in the new courthouse in Benton.
Dinn said the burglary happened on Oct. 11 of last year. There was considerable damage to the walls and ceilings of the offices within the building due to the burglary and removal of copper wire and pipes.
A person nearby called off-duty Benton Police Officer Bryan Craddock to report a suspicious person walking south on Renshaw Road. Officer Mark Wilkey responded to the area and found Roberson walking south of the building carrying the shell of a purple bean bag chair full of copper wire and pipes.
A witness testified that the purple bean bag chair had been inside the building for several years until it was found in Roberson’s hands. An abandoned bicycle was later recovered near a hole in the fence surrounding the property. Roberson was normally seen riding a bicycle.
A jury was chosen Tuesday and evidence was presented on Wednesday. After two-and-a-half hours of deliberation, the jury returned verdicts of guilty on all three counts. Roberson will be sentenced for the crimes at a later date.
The investigation into Roberson’s case was conducted by the Benton Police Department.
The case was prosecuted by State’s Attorney Abby Dinn.