Police believe suspect responsible for 10 break-ins

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Police in Bullitt County have arrested a 27-year-old man they believe is responsible for 10 burglaries in three counties.

At a news conference on Monday, Detective Scotty McGaha with the Bullitt County Sheriff's Office said Louisville Metro Police were alerted to a burglary on the evening of May 6 in the Silver Heights area. They responded and chased a suspect into the woods and were able to track him to Bullitt County.

"They went to a location, but he was not there," McGaha said.

Police did recover stolen merchandise, but didn't locate the suspect, James A. Underwood, until receiving a tip on Derby Day.

Mount Washington police and Bullitt County police subsequently arrested Underwood at a Mount Washington apartment.

"He had stated he would not go back to prison alive," McGaha said. "When the sheriff's department and Mount Washington police went in there, they actually located a loaded firearm that it turns out is going to be stolen out of Bullitt County. He was taken into custody without any problems. They caught him in the bedroom area asleep."

A loaded handgun was among the stolen items recovered.

McGaha says Underwood could be responsible for up to 10 break-ins in Jefferson, Bullitt and Spencer Counties. They're trying to reunite the families with their property.

"He actually had taken a lot of the more expensive jewelry and he had taken that to Fern Creek where they sell it as scrap and it's melted down right away," said McGaha. "They're not going to get it back. No, unfortunately, very sad, but they won't get that back."

Police said Underwood would ring the doorbell of the house he intended to rob, and break in if no one answered.

"I know of one house where the door was unlocked where he said he went in, but most of the houses, the back door was kicked in," said McGaha.

Underwood is being held in the Bullitt County Detention Center on charges of receiving stolen property, burglary and receiving a stolen firearm.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.