Shane Dietzel of Pottersville, Mo. was stopped by Sheriff Buck Foley and Detective Joe Boshears, after they received a report that a vehicle they had been looking for was possibly headed from Lanton to Salem.
Dietzel was stopped for a traffic violation, after he was observed twice crossing the center line while being followed. Dietzel was taken to the Sheriff's Office for questioning regarding two burglaries.
On Oct. 26, a resident in the Moko area reported a break-in. Someone had pried open the back door and stolen two boxes of jewelry worth an estimated $1,100.
The resident gave police a description of a man she had seen near her home before the break-in, along with a description of his car and a partial license plate number.
Upon questioning, Dietzel admitted breaking into the house and a shop building on the property, on Highway 395 North.
Dietzel was also questioned about an Oct. 9 theft from the Salem Church of Christ. In that incident, a man entered the church toward the end of the Sunday service. The church secretary later discovered someone had entered the church office and taken cash from a desk drawer and money from her purse.
Two church members who saw the man enter the church described him as being in his late twenties or early thirties with a tattoo on his neck and blond or orange hair.
After being apprehended on Nov. 4, Dietzel, who fit that description, admitted to breaking into the church office and taking more than $200 in cash.
"We have had a lot of burglaries recently," said Sheriff Buck Foley. "We suspect Mr. Dietzel may be involved in some of the other break-ins."
They include burglaries at the Moko Church of Christ and Moko Bookstore, and another Moko area residential break-in.
Dietzel may also be involved in several home and church burglaries in the Viola area.
"Mr. Dietzel appears to have a route he follows from his home in Missouri down into Fulton County, where he looks for break-in opportunities," the Sheriff said. Dietzel is believed to enter a home or building and wander around looking for cash, change, jewelry and other small items.
In connection with the Oct. 9 church burglary, Dietzel has been charged with Commercial Burglary and Theft of Property.
Charges for the Oct. 26 home break-in include Theft of Property, Residential Burglary and Commercial Burglary.
Dietzel is also charged with Driving Left of Center, and being a habitual offender, with a past record that includes four or more felony convictions.