Two of three alleged Country Junction burglars apprehended

Ethan Gray


The burglars who cut a hole in the wall of Country Junction convenience store on Highway 174 are being rounded up, with two now in police custody after nearly a month of searching.
The crime, which took place at about 3 a.m. on Sept. 19, involved two masked suspects using construction tools to cut a hole in the metal siding of the building. Once inside, suspects proceeded behind the register to steal cartons of cigarettes and the safe, which was under the counter. Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay said that this crime is similar to others that have occurred in the area, with holes being cut in other buildings as well.
DeLay said that as a result of the break-in, about $1,000 was stolen. In addition to the money stolen, the gaming machines inside the store were broken.
In security camera footage, the suspect, who is described as having tattoos on his neck, communicates with a person on the outside of the store using a walkie-talkie. This led investigators to believe that there were multiple people involved in the burglary. The suspect who was captured on the camera footage has been arrested and charged, according to DeLay. Jerry Hartkopp, faces charges of burglary in the first degree, as well as stealing and property damage. For nearly a month, the location of the suspects was unknown, with progress only recently being made.
“We have actually only arrested and charged one person,” said DeLay.
Another suspect who may have been involved in the incident was apprehended in Taney County, according to DeLay, but he has yet to be charged. The last of the three is known to the sheriff’s office, but they have yet to find him, said DeLay.
“We know a third person but we also have not charged him yet, as we have been unable to locate him,” he said.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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