Crime

Lexington police dogs trace scent of man who tried to break into cars, then changed clothes

A man's quick change of clothing didn't fool police dogs sniffing out the person trying to break into cars early Monday.

Police charged Corey Kennedy, 34, about 1:30 a.m. with fleeing and evading police, resisting arrest and two counts of failure to appear in court on an unrelated case.

Officers investigating car break-ins saw Kennedy pulling on car-door handles at an apartment complex off Virginia Avenue, Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.

Kennedy took off running when officers approached him, later emerging from between two buildings wearing a different shirt, she said. But by that time, officers had set up a perimeter and brought in dogs to track the man's scent.

The officers who saw Kennedy trying to get into cars were part of a car-theft task force investigating break-ins in the area, Roberts said. The task force was formed in response to an increase in thefts from cars that began in March 2010.

According to data released by the Lexington Division of Police, there were 77 car break-ins in February 2010, nearly doubling to 140 reported the next month.

The number increased steadily, to 265 in July, then dropped to 189 by November, the last month police have prepared data.

Roberts said she couldn't say how task force members investigate thefts, but Kennedy's case is at least the second recently in which officers investigating car break-ins have been at the right place at the right time.

Last week, Thomas Finnell, 20, was arrested after he approached two plainclothes officers conducting surveillance on Bay Meadows Drive and asked them to help him break into a house. He was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary.

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