NCSO arrests man accused of breaking into homes on Memorial Day

COVINGTON — A man accused of breaking into houses in a south Newton County subdivision on Memorial Day has been arrested.

Deputies with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office began receiving calls Monday morning that a suspicious white male was seen walking around homes in the area of Berkshire subdivision and Veal Road, looking as though he were trying to break in.

When deputies responded to the Veal Road address, the suspect had already left the area, but a witness said he saw the man driving away at a high rate of speed in a white Ford Crown Victoria. The back door of the home, which was later determined to be abandoned and bank-owned, was kicked in, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Witnesses told deputies they had seen this same man attempting to break into homes in Berkshire subdivision. Deputies checked the residence at 405 Berkshire Drive, which was likewise vacant, and found its back door was also kicked in. There did not appear to be any damage or missing items, the incident report states.

Just about this time, another deputy responded to a home on Berkshire Trace where the victim said the suspect was attempting to break into his home.

“According to the complainant, the suspect knocked on the door and when he did not answer, the suspect walked around the home,” said Deputy Felicia Jefferson.

The suspect then attempted to break into the home through the garage and a window, but was unsuccessful. The homeowner, though, did tell authorities that he discovered his phone and some ground cable cords were damaged.

The man was then seen getting into a white Crown Victoria, which he apparently abandoned somewhere in the subdivision and then ran into the woods, Jefferson said.

Deputies found the car and checked the tag information with dispatch, and were able to identify the suspect. They then took the suspect’s photo to witnesses in the area, who identified him as the man they had seen breaking into homes, Jefferson said.

Inside the car, deputies found copper wire and tubing, a television set, black key security box and other items.

A few hours later, deputies received a call from a man who claimed his car had been stolen. When deputies met up with the man, they realized it was the suspect from the break-ins.

Gary Eli Lockard, 39, of 195 Buck Creek Drive, was arrested and charged with criminal attempt, criminal damage to property, criminal trespass and making a false report of a crime.