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TWIN FALLS — A brief car burglary spree was put to an end Friday evening when a trail of snowy footprints — and a dropped wallet — led police straight to the suspect.

The search began when Twin Falls police officers were called to a home on Maple Avenue, where a car had been broken into. The burglar had strewn the contents of the glove box “all over the place” before walking away, the owners of the car told police.

Fortunately, he’d left behind an important clue to his whereabouts: a clear path of footprints in the snow. Officers followed the prints down Maple Avene, where they found three more cars that had been broken into or “disturbed,” according to court documents.

While one officer stayed on Maple to talk to the owners of the cars, another continued to follow the prints to the 1400 block of Addison Avenue East, where they were lost among other shoe prints on the sidewalk.

But the officer following the prints remembered passing a man on the corner of Addison Avene and Blue Lakes Boulevard that fit the description of the burglary suspect. He caught up to the man and identified him as James Johnson, 37, of Jerome.

Meanwhile, the officer back on Maple Avenue came across three mysterious items — including a wallet — in the snow next to one of the burglarized cars. Inside the wallet was an ID belonging to Johnson.

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A comparison of Johnson’s shoe prints to those in the snow confirmed a match.

He was arraigned Tuesday on five counts of burglary, and jailed on a $75,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 5.


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