Lawrence crime, fire, courts coverage
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A 38-year-old Lawrence man has been charged with burglary after residents reported seeing a man trying to break into two homes in central Lawrence early this morning.
Christopher T. Beard was arrested about 5 a.m. in the 3000 block of University Drive, where a resident reported to police that a man in dark clothing and surgical gloves was trying pry open the back doors of two nearby homes, said Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman.
Officers arriving in the area saw a man they identified as Beard shining a flashlight into several vehicles and lifting the door handles. Beard fought with the officers when they arrested him, and gave several false names to police, according to Douglas County prosecutors.
The officers examined the two homes where incidents were reported and determined that one of them was occupied and showed damage to the back door. The other residence was not occupied and showed no damage, McKinley said.
McKinley said the neighbor who called police deserves credit for being observant and helping to stop a crime.
Beard appeared in Douglas County District Court via video today from the Douglas County Jail, where he was being held with bond set at $15,000. Douglas County prosecutors have charged him with attempted aggravated burglary, attempted burglary, and obstruction.
If convicted of aggravated burglary, Beard could be sentenced to probation or up to 34 months in prison, depending on his criminal history. Beard was found guilty last year of one count of criminal trespass after entering a residence in the 3000 block of Oxford Road through an unlocked garage door shortly before 8 a.m. on Sept. 17. According to police, he was intoxicated.