By Joe Thomas
Ledger Editor 

Suspect jailed for burglaries

Payne arrested for thefts at Len's Jewelers, Hardee's, may havehad help in Hardee's break-in


July 18, 2019

Evidence collected at Len's Jewelers and Hardee's led Flomaton police to a suspect who was arrested early Friday morning on multiple thefts for break-ins at the two businesses.

Andreas Payne, 26, 960 Martin Luther King Drive, Flomaton, was charged with three counts of burglary III, three counts of theft of property IV, criminal mischief III and possession of burglary tools I.

Payne is accused of breaking into Len's jewelers twice, once between June 28 and July 1, and a second time between July 5 and July 8. He is also accused of breaking into Hardee's on July 12.

Flomaton Police Inv. Chance Thompson said in the first burglary at Len's, the back door was pried open to gain entry. The second time the hinges were taken off the back door. Thompson said in both instances an undisclosed amount of cash and valuable coins were reported missing.

Thompson also said the owner had installed a securing camera system, but reported wires were cut and the camera and television were stolen.

Thompson said he found a footprint and recovered a blue rubber glove at Len's.

At 2 a.m. Friday, the alarm went off at Hardee's and when officers arrived they found the drive-up window had been pried open and saw the safe inside open. An undisclosed amount of cash had been stolen.

Thompson said the manager was called and the building was searched. As the manager went to retrieve the camera system, officers found a bicycle with a child's book bag lying next to it. Thompson said officers found gloves and a screwdriver inside the bag and he reported it was the same type of glove he had retrieved from Len's Jewelers. He also said there was a footprint next to the bicycle that matched the footprint found a Len's.

Thompson said the video showed the suspect, dressed in all black, using a screwdriver to pry open the drive-through window and go straight to the safe. Thompson said he also recognized a tattoo on the hand of the suspect and identified Payne as a suspect.

Thompson drove to Payne's Martin Luther King apartment and found him at 4 a.m. sitting out front.

Payne agreed to go to the police department, and after being read his rights, confessed to all three burglaries. He said Payne then took him to multiple locations were the stolen items were recovered. He also said he found cash inside Payne's mattress.

Thompson also reported that the investigation revealed an employee at Hardee's was involved and said the case is still under investigation.


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