The man accused of burglarizing a series of Northside homes over the summer has been indicted on 22 charges related to the break-ins.
Joshua A. Wise Jr. was arraigned and pleaded not guilty Thursday. He is accused of breaking into eight homes over the summer and trying to break into two others.
Many of the homes were occupied, authorities have said, some with children.
In one instance, prosecutor William Sanderson said Thursday, a parent first thought a noise was his child. In that instance, the burglar fled.
In another instance, Sanderson said, there is evidence the burglar actually stepped over a child to get to an electronic device on a nightstand, then stepped over the child again to leave.
The young child had moved to her parents’ bedroom, sleeping on the floor as her parents slept in the bed.
Wise, 22, of Avenue B, faces multiple counts of burglary, larceny and other charges. He is represented by attorney Sven Paul. He has been jailed since his arrest in August and remained in custody Thursday on $50,000 bail.
The investigation into similar burglaries continues, authorities have said, though Wise is not considered a suspect.
Wise is accused of entering homes through an unlocked window or back door. His target, authorities have said, was small electronics, particularly iPhones. He would grab them quickly and then slip away as the residents slept, officials said.
Investigators were already closing in on Wise when officers combing the area happened to catch him in August.
Investigators had matched his fingerprints to at least one of the break-ins and also got information from a victim whose BlackBerry was stolen, Sanderson said.
That victim soon got a replacement BlackBerry with the same number. Wise had apparently used the stolen BlackBerry to send text messages to a woman, and the victim started receiving the messages, then played along and eventually got a name, Sanderson said.
Wise finally was arrested after trying to break into one last home, prosecutors say. Alerted by the resident, plainclothes officers in the area for just that investigation soon caught up with him and took him into custody.