Burglar leads police on high speed pursuit

A burglar led Loxley Police on a high speed chase overnight with speeds in excess of 100
miles per hour. It all happened after a local caterer got fed up with ongoing thefts and
installed a baby monitor that transmitted a signal to his house a few hundred feet away.
When the burglar returned this morning, the business owner heard him and called police.

Loxley Police were just arriving on the scene to a burglary in progress at Chad Stapleton
Catering shortly before 3:00 a.m. Friday, July 18, 2014. Their timing couldn’t have been
much better as the suspect was just pulling out onto County Road 64, but he wasn’t about to
give up.

Police said the suspect, 57 year old Gene Edward Muggins reached speeds of over 100 miles
per hour on County Road 64 before turning into Loxley Heights and crashing into the woods.

“Thank goodness there were no other drivers on the road at that time. It could have been
very bad,” said Lt. Doug Phillips with Loxley Police.

Police said Muggins tried to run away, but was found a short time later hiding inside his
mother’s home nearby.

Back at the crime scene, recent burglaries had just about put Chad Stapleton Catering out
of business, so Stapleton and his wife took matters into their own hands with some low-tech
security measures.

“This time we put a baby monitor out and heard him over here rumbling around and walked
outside and called 911,” Chad Stapleton said.

The burglar had broken through a window in a storage room and loaded up a generator and
other items while Stapleton and his wife, Carol waited for police to arrive.
The Stapletons saaid they felt pretty helpless as they listened and watched the burglar
load up their generator and other items and take off. It was right about that time that
they heard police coming.

“We started hearing that he was about to leave and a few minutes later we saw him get to 64
and the police met him and then they were on pursuit so we were just so pleased that they
got here,” Carol Stapleton said.

The Stapletons were able to get their generator and the other items taken this morning
back. Police suspect Muggins is responsible for the other two burglaries at the Stapletons
and are continuing the investigation.

Gene Edward Muggins is charged with burglary third degree, theft of property second degree,
attempting to elude and several other charges. He’s in the Baldwin County Jail awaiting a
bond hearing.

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