Tri-City Ledger -

By Gretchen McPherson
Ledger Staff 

Century man gets arrested


February 27, 2020

A Century man is facing a felony burglary charge after neighbors on Front Street in Century reported a man present in and outside an unoccupied dwelling and the owner found recurring damage of a forced entry.

Christopher George Pace, 37, 561 West Highway 4, was arrested Feb. 21 after homeowner Bobby Swords found evidence using a camera in his back yard that a white male, later identified as Pace, had been entering his house at 308 East Front Street, causing $150 worth of damage, according to an Escambia County Sheriff's Office report.

Swords, who lives in Cantonment, Fla., told officers that he knows Pace and was able to identify him. He said when he went to check on his house in Century on Jan. 26, he discovered the deadbolt latch on the back door had been unlocked along with several latches on the windows on the inside of his house, the report said. He said he saw no damage to his house and that he secured the window and door latches prior to leaving his house that day.

Swords said on Feb. 15, he went back to check on his house and at that time discovered the front door has been secured from the inside, making it impossible to open from the outside. He made entry to his house by crawling through a window and discovered his front door had been secured by a 2” x 4” from the inside, according to the report.

He said the windows had been covered by items left in the house to make repairs such as tar paper, ply wood and insulation board, making it impossible for anyone to see inside of his house. He saw the deadbolt on the back door was unlocked again and the window was slightly open with a cracked upper pane and latch and trim pieces on the floor, making it obvious someone had been entering and exiting his home, the report stated.

Swords told officers on Feb. 16 he received a phone call from a friend, Johnathan Watters, who had gotten a call from a neighbor in the area advising him that Pace was currently inside Sword's house. Watters told Swords he had located Pace in the house and removed Pace. Watters then secured the house the best he could by screwing the back window shut where Pace had entered the house, according to the report.

On Feb. 17, Swords met with an officer in the backyard to see that the camera captured Pace and they noticed a vehicle receiver hitch below a damaged window, which had obviously been pried open, along with a couple of pickets from the picket fence. The camera SD card showed a white male, identified as Pace, at the house on Feb. 16 in the back next to the window and back door, the report said.

A neighbor, Herman Womack, who lives at 401 East Front Street, told officers that over the past couple of weeks, he observed a white male periodically at the house sitting on the front porch swing with the front door open to the residence. Womack stated a few minutes later, he no longer observed the white male in the swing where he had possibly entered the house. He described the white male as 5'06” to 5'08” with no shirt and no shoes, the report stated.

Pace was arrested Feb. 21 and charged with one count felony burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and transported to the Escambia County Jail. He was given a bond of $15,500.


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