For one Salem man, it appears his need for a nicotine fix was worth the risk of being arrested March 7.
On the day of his 20th birthday, Anthony Mejia was arrested in connection with burglary, breaking and entering, theft and sexual assault.
Patricia McCarary said, at approximately 1 a.m. the anti-theft alarm on her aunt's 2005 Jeep Liberty began sounding. McCarary told authorities she looked out the window to check on the commotion and allegedly saw Mejia running from the vehicle, according to Salem Police Chief Albert Roork.
As he was fleeing the scene, Mejia allegedly broke into another residence, Roork said.
The resident alleged she was asleep in a recliner when she was awakened by Mejia inappropriately touching her, Roork said.
Mejia was startled when the woman woke up, but he sat on the floor and began talking to her. She said Mejia made advances, asking her if she had a boyfriend and making other obscene comments, Roork said.
He said Mejia stole the victims bicycle and fled from the residence after she demanded he leave. However, in the midst of his get-away, McCarary had called authorities and spotted Mejia.
As she approached Mejia, she realized he was holding a bag containing a carton of cigarettes and CDs he had stolen from her aunt's vehicle moments earlier, Roork said.
As McCarary attempted to reclaim her property, Fulton County Deputy Johnny Byler arrived at the scene and arrested Mejia.
Shortly after his arrest, Mejia was released from authorities after posting bond. He is facing four separate charges including residential burglary, second degree sexual assault, breaking or entering and theft of property.