Trail of stolen soft drinks leads to burglary suspect’s arrest

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

July 13, 2007 - An 18-year-old man was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after confessing to the break-in at Hopkins County Food Locker earlier that morning.

Police say the burglary was one of the more easily solved, as the suspect left his driver's license at the scene and stolen goods were left almost like a bread trail along the path to a residence.

Anthony Lewis “A.J.” Fralin Jr. was arraigned on a state jail felony charge of  burglary of a building and released after posting $5,000 bond.

Police first began working the case around 4 a.m. Wednesday, when the owner of the Putman Street food locker and restaurant reported his business had been broken into. He arrived to find a door frame and two windows broken. A closer inspection of the building revealed several soft drinks were missing from the refrigerator.

Luckily for police, a driver's license was left behind on an empty bread sack on the floor. They also found cans of the missing drinks on the grounds, then further down on Jackson Street and at the corner of Fuller and Carter streets.

Police tracked Fralin to his grandparents' Fuller Street residence, where it was determined the suspect had left not long before officers arrived. Police obtained consent to search the room he stayed in the night before, locating soft drink cans under the bed, including some which were still cold, Investigator Bo Fox said Thursday morning.

Wednesday afternoon, Fralin reported to the police department, where he was arrested after confessing to breaking into the building and taking the drinks. He indicated to police he entered the building looking for cash, Fox said.

Overall, officers recovered about two cases of drinks from the bed and road and returned them to the food locker.

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