A Madison Heights man found guilty of breaking into an Amherst County store and stealing items was given a 23-year suspended sentence Monday.

Matthew Lucas Creasy, 20, pleaded guilty in Amherst Circuit Court to one count each of breaking and entering, grand larceny, destruction of property, wearing a mask in public and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was arrested following a December 2018 break-in at the Lee and Moss grocery store on Old Wright Shop Road in Madison Heights.

Amherst Commonwealth’s Attorney Lyle Carver said on the night of Dec. 9 a sheriff’s deputy arrived at the store after it was broken into. The officer observed broken glass and reviewed security camera footage that showed two white subjects breaking the glass with a hammer and taking items inside.

The Amherst County Sheriff’s Office during the investigation of a domestic assault report later interviewed Creasy, who admitted to the burglary and gave a statement, Carver said. When asked why he broke into the store the defendant said he didn’t have anywhere to live, Carver said.

Some of the merchandise was recovered, according to Carver. He said the charges were Creasy’s first criminal offenses at the time and the plea agreement in the case is appropriate because it calls for extensive jail time if he comes back with any future incidents.

“Hopefully he understands this can’t happen again,” Carver said of low sentencing guidelines in the case.

Scott De Bruin, attorney for Creasy, said his client has been apologetic and accepts responsibility. Judge Michael Garrett said the suspended sentence is on the condition Creasy undergoes 25 years of probation, two of which are supervised; submit to drug screening, not use illegal drugs and pay restitution of $1,260 to the store.

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Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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