COLUMBUS, Ind. – An accused serial burglar is behind bars in Columbus after police claim he ripped off several businesses last week.

The Columbus Police Department is investigating multiple cases in which someone threw a rock through a window or glass door to get inside buildings. The individual then stole cash and lottery tickets.

Police said five businesses were broken into on five consecutive nights.

“It was very similar. A rock was thrown through a glass window or glass door, and the suspect was in and out in a very short amount of time,” said CPD Lt. Matt Harris.y

The crime spree came to an end in the early morning hours of Jan. 26, after Columbus officers responded to a business burglary in the 1700 block of State Street. They discovered a rock had been used to break a glass door. The thief then took off with the cash register.

Surveillance cameras showed a man — later identified as 27-year-old Jeron McDonald — had been in the area just before the reported burglary. A police dog started tracking the suspect; the track ended at an apartment building on South Cherry Street. Police found the cash register in a nearby alley.

Jeron McDonald

Officers set up a perimeter and took McDonald into custody. Investigators found a large amount of cash in his apartment along with lottery tickets that had been reported stolen. Police provided a photo of the stolen money.

Lt. Harris hopes McDonald’s arrest gives business owners in Columbus some peace of mind

“Absolutely, they were thinking was my business next. They can have some relief this person is behind bars,” said Harris. “I know the business owners are very appreciative of the case being brought to a close.”

Image via Columbus Police Department

McDonald was arrested on preliminary charges of burglary, possession of stolen property and criminal mischief. Police suspect McDonald is responsible for multiple thefts and said additional charges are possible.

Jesse Wells contributed to this story.