Deputies: Croft State Park burglar found breaking into home - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: Croft State Park burglar found breaking into friend's home

Posted: Updated:
Michael Strickland (Source: Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office) Michael Strickland (Source: Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office)

After a man reported seeing an old school friend breaking into his home, deputies said they were able to connect the suspect to the burglary at Croft State Park.

Spartanburg County deputies said they were called to the victim's Country Club Road home about 7 p.m. Tuesday after the victim reported that Michael Strickland, 37, had kicked in his front door while no one was home.

According to the sheriff's office report, the victim had recently become good friends with Strickland, knowing each other from when they were in school. He told deputies Strickland came over to spend time with him and his father a few times of week so he was not surprised to find his car in his driveway Tuesday.

But when the victim looked closer, he realized that Strickland's car was running, his dad was not home and no one came to the back door when he knocked, according to the report. That's when Strickland was seen leaving from the front of the house, deputies said.

When the friend stopped Strickland, he said he was there to see the man's dad, the report said. They two chatted for a few minutes then Strickland said he had to go because he was selling a Polaris ATV, deputies said.

When the victim went inside, he discovered the kicked-in front door and told deputies he feared Strickland may have tried to steal his father's medicine but was stopped because he came home, according to the report. The report said the dad confirmed the front door was in tact when he left and nothing was stolen.

While deputies were at the house, they said Strickland returned in his car along with a female driver. As deputies spoke with the woman, they said she reported having several items at her home Strickland brought over that she feared were stolen, including the ATV he had sold.

In the car, deputies said they found a table saw reported stolen from Croft State Park along with several pawn slips, including one for a trolling motor also reported stolen from the park. The woman told deputies she had feared for her family's safety if she reported the items, but she let them come to her house where they found more things from the park including two duck boxes, a pressure washing, marine battery, tool box and more, according to the report.

Deputies said when they searched Strickland, he had several hundred dollars in cash on him he said was from the ATV he had sold he claimed to have bought several years prior.

The report said Strickland also had a cell phone with text messages about selling items that were possibly stolen.

Lt. Tony Ivey with the sheriff's office said Strickland was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary in connection with Tuesday's case and additional charges were pending. He said additional arrests may also be made in the case.

So far, deputies have not recovered the ATV. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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