By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer
Police have arrested one Clovis man and issued warrants for two others in connection with the June 30 burglary and arson of a Cannon Air Force Base master sergeant’s home, according to Clovis police Capt. Patrick Whitney.
Warrants were issued by Clovis Detective Waylon Rains three days after the incident.
James Johnson, 18, Lonnie “Dewayne” Allsup II, 18, and Thomas Smerer, 20, are charged with burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary, court records show.
Allsup, whom police said is the grandson of the owner of Allsup’s convenience stores, was arrested Friday and released on a $10,000 bond, according to jail officials.
The senior Lonnie Allsup declined to comment. The younger Allsup could not be reached for comment.
The younger Allsup’s attorney, Tye Harmon, did not want to comment during the initial investigation phase.
Attempts to reach Johnson and Smerer were unsuccessful.
The charges are the result of discoveries made when police executed a search warrant at Johnson’s home, Whitney said.
Whitney said police recovered a military gas mask, coins, movies, a vacuum cleaner, a bear skull, jewelry and a drill rifle, which had been reported stolen from the home of Master Sgt. Vince Bowers.
Bowers said Monday he was not aware an arrest had been made and said he does not know the three.
He said he was glad to have the items returned to them but said the items of true sentimental or monetary value have not been recovered yet. An afghan knitted by his grandmother is one of the possessions he hopes to have returned.
Bowers said he and his family returned home from a camping trip July 1 to find their residence had been broken into.
The home was ransacked, burglarized and a fire was started in the attic, causing damage to the roof, according to a police report.
Two family cats were killed in the fire, the report said.
Living in a rental home for now, it will likely be Christmas before he and his family will be able to return to their home, Bowers said. The entire home has to be gutted and rebuilt because of smoke and fire damage, he said.
Bowers said his family’s outlook hasn’t changed since he first learned of the burglary.
“They’re not going to win. We’re going to maintain our faith. We’re going to get through this,” he said. “And the bad guys are going to go to jail.”
Bowers said during the rebuilding of their home, his family plans to erect a sign in the front yard that reads “God is still in control.”
Firearms stolen from the Bowers’ home have not been recovered, Whitney said.
There are other persons of interest being interviewed by police and there may be more arrests, he said.