An Ardmore man told deputies Friday he knew burglarizing rural homes was wrong so he used methamphetamine to give him the courage to carry out the heists.
Arthur Masten, 35, is detained on a $45,000 bond in the Carter County Detention Center pending formal charges of second-degree burglary in connection with three rural Ardmore break-ins and Capt. Gregg Johnson, CCSD, said the investigation is not over.
Deputies were called to a Keyman Road residence Thursday morning after the owners of the house found their property burglarized and severely ransacked.
"Every room was torn up, including a safe room where a hammer and chisel had been used," Johnson said.
During the investigation deputies learned golfers at Lake Murray Golf Course had reported the sighting of a suspicious man.
"They notified park rangers of a man walking across the golf course carrying a bag. He went into the woods and when he came out he no longer had the bag," Johnson.
Deputies and park rangers launched an immediate search for the suspect. Masten, who was described as under the influence of methamphetamine, was identified and taken into custody in the area. A short time later the stolen property was recovered from the woods.
Friday a search of Masten's 7th Avenue NE residence yielded even more stolen property.
"We have confirmed the items recovered from the house were stolen in a burglary on Sandy Creek Road and another on Cisco Road," Johnson said, adding Masten made admissions including his use of methamphetamine in preparation for the burglaries.
Formal charges are expected to be filed against Masten in Carter County District Court Monday. The new charges will be the second time the local man has faced felony violations. Court records indicate he pleaded guilty in 2011 to unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and illegal possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.