Burglar of sheriff’s home sentenced

The last standing man to accept guilt in a string of burglaries — one of which targeted the current Franklin County sheriff’s home — has been sentenced to drug rehabilitation.

Zachary T. Harrod, 32, was sentenced Friday to five years’ probation contingent on completion of a rehab program. He was arrested along with 45-year-old Larry Thomas Engler, both of Frankfort, after a string of firearm thefts last spring culminated in a foot pursuit one day and a standoff with police the next.

After Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate levied the sentence, Harrod was transported to a nearby drug rehab facility to begin treatment.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland said the sentence is not unusual in drug-related crimes.

“Drugs often drive other crimes,” he said. “They’ll break into homes and steal to try to get money for drugs or they’ll trade stolen items for drugs, so we wind up sending people to rehab … . If we can rehabilitate them, it saves taxpayers money because it’s cheaper than incarceration.”

Unfortunately, Cleveland said, most people either can’t complete rehab or quickly relapse once they are released. Then they are incarcerated to the term they originally face — more than five years in the case of Harrod.

Engler faces a similar fate after he, too, pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced to drug rehabilitation.

The two men were taken into custody in April after reports of targeted burglaries on Shadrick Ferry Road and Lewis Ferry Road. The home of Sheriff Chris Quire, who was running for office at the time, was among those burglarized. Investigators then pinged a stolen iPad to gather Harrod’s location on Sequoyah Trail in Indian Hills, leading to a foot pursuit with police.

Deputies recovered 12 guns and electronics from Harrod’s vehicle and gathered probable cause for a search warrant for a residence on Wallace Avenue. While serving the warrant, Engler barricaded himself inside by pushing a refrigerator in front of the door, officers said.

About an hour later, the standoff came to a peaceful resolution without injuries on either side.

Both Harrod and Engler eventually pleaded guilty to multiple burglary charges and possession of firearms by convicted felons. They are currently at their respective treatment centers.

 

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