Teen confesses to 11 Middletown business break-ins, police say

Aug. 31—An alarm drop and a manhunt with a police dog early Tuesday led to the arrest of a Middletown teen for breaking and entering and a confession to other crimes in the past year, according to police.

Jamarion Lamar Jones, 19, is charged with breaking and entering, safecracking and tampering with evidence, all felonies, for the alleged break-in at the Laundry Spot in the 4300 block of Lewis St.

When officers arrived at the business they found the glass front door shattered and a coin machine damaged. Officer Lindsey Schwarber and K9 partner Maverick tracked Jones a short distance where he was hiding, covered in grass.

During an interview with detectives, Jones confessed to committing a series of other break-ins in the business district on Breiel Boulevard, including several restaurants, beginning in August 2022, according to Sgt. Earl Nelson.

"He confessed to 11," Nelson said.

Jones was granted an intervention in lieu of conviction motion in Butler County Common Pleas Court on July 14 after pleading guilty to breaking and entering at Rio Bingo on Roosevelt Boulevard on Dec. 30, 2022.

Judge Jennifer McElfresh ordered five years of probation, drug and alcohol monitoring, corrective thinking classes, that he maintain full-time employment and get a high school diploma or GED for Jones.

The intervention in lieu of conviction plea is an opportunity for a defendant to get a dismissal of a low-level, non-violent offense after completing court-ordered treatment.

Jones' bond on the new charge was set at $20,000 during arraignment Wednesday in Middletown Municipal Court. Police say more charges will likely be added in the future or at grand jury.

Nelson said detectives worked diligently to solve the string of business thefts, noting the suspect caught on store security cameras was "covered from head to toe" and crawled across the floor to stay out of sight.