Man pleads guilty to string of burglaries across region

Sean D. Upchurch, 41, also pleaded guilty to an unrelated heroin possession charge in a different case. Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Mary Wiseman will sentence him Aug. 30.

According to county Prosecutor Mathias H. Heck, Jr., Upchurch committed his crimes in Oakwood, Kettering, Centerville, Miamisburg, Miami Twp., Clayton, Butler Twp. and Dayton.

“A man who has victimized so many of our residents has been held accountable and found guilty for his crimes,” Heck said.

Heck thanked Oakwood police Capt. Alan Hill and Kettering Detective Vincent Mason, who noticed upticks in burglaries starting in November 2010, then compared shoeprints and realized they were looking for the same suspect.

Police said the burglar generally struck around twilight, targeting homes with no lights on. According to police reports, the burglar typically rang the doorbell, and, if he didn’t get an answer, he would kick open a back door. The burglar would take pillow cases from the beds and fill them with items, police said.

When police entered Upchurch’s rented storage unit in Harrison Twp., they found a number of pillow cases filled with thousands of pieces of costume jewelry.

Oakwood police arrested Upchurch on Easter Sunday in April 2011, when a neighbor spotted him breaking into a house on East Schantz Avenue. Upchurch was apprehended on Irving Avenue a short time later.

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