Man arrested on pair of 2015 burglaries

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Former friend turns over evidence to deputies, leading to charges

A Cassville man is facing multiple burglary and theft charges relating to two separate cases in Barry County court.

Matthew Cox, 29, of Cassville, is charged with one count of second-degree burglary and one count of theft in a June 1 case, and another set of the same charges in a June 7 case.

According to probable cause statements filed by Det. Rob Evenson, with the Barry County Sheriff's Office, both incidents occurred in September 2015.

Between Sept. 3 and Sept. 23 of last year, Cox allegedly entered the home of a relative on Farm Road 2160 and took $4,300 in cash belonging to the victim. He allegedly showed the stack of $100 bills to a former friend and told the friend he took the money from the relative's house.

On Sept. 30, Cox allegedly burglarized a home on Farm Road 1110, stealing more than $20,000 in property. The same former friend who Cox showed the cash to earlier in the month returned a stolen jacket to the victim and said other stolen property was located in an apartment on Front Street in Exeter.

The owner of the apartment, whose previous tenant, Lori Taylor, was evicted and had vacated her property, allowed Evenson to search the home, and Evenson said he found at least four items belonging to the Farm Road 1110 victim, including three packages of Vet Darts, a Longenbarger basket and a purse. The value of that property exceeded $500.

Evenson interviewed Taylor, who denied any involvement or knowledge of the burglaries. She also said all the property in the apartment was hers, and she needed to make arrangements with the property owner to move her belongings, as she was not allowed in the home.

The victim stated on the night of the burglary, a friend was trying to get him to go to a casino in Oklahoma. Initially declining the invite, the victim later agreed to go. After being at the casino until early the next morning, the victim came home and discovered the burglary. He believed his friend was so persistent so he would leave the house empty for Cox and Taylor to burglarize.

Evenson said Cox's former friend who had the victim's jacket later brought him several items identified as belonging to the victim. Cox had left the items in the former friend's care when he went to prison. The former friend reported the victim's casino partner alerted Cox and Taylor that the victim had left the home, allowing them to commit the alleged burglary.

Cox is being held in the Barry County jail on a total bond of $40,300, including $20,000 on the first case, another $20,000 cash only on the second case and $300 for a failure to appear warrant. He has been arraigned and has a disposition hearing scheduled for June 23 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

Taylor, who is facing the same four charges on two separate cases and was arrested on May 16, posted two $20,000 bonds on the same day. She has disposition hearings for both cases scheduled for 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

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