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Police release suspect name in Karl King Tower burglary

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - South Bend police are on the hunt for a suspect charged with burglarizing the home of a dead woman at Karl King Tower Apartments in February.

30-year-old Thomas Cooper has been charged with burglary and auto theft after detectives allege he pillaged 71-year-old Therese Williams' apartment and car when she was found dead in February.

Williams died of natural causes on February 21.

“They think she was there a couple days. That’s what’s hard. She died alone and just laying there," said her brother, David Williams.

Unfortunately, after carrying Therese out, he says the coroner shut the door without realizing it didn't lock on its own.

Cooper allegedly took advantage of this mishap.

The probable cause affidavit says security cameras show him helping another neighbor carry in her groceries as well as him hauling out a TV police believe to be Therese's.

Charging documents also say that Cooper was caught on camera with a lanyard, checking cars in the parking lot.

Later in the evening, they say he's shown getting into Williams' car, jump starting it, and then driving off.

Williams' debit card and some money also went missing around the same time.

Police recovered the car in Lakeville two days later, in a field near Mulberry Road 12 miles from the apartment complex.

To add even more salt to the wound, they had to pay $700 to recover the car.

While David's not really worried about the things, he's bothered by the thought.

"They’re just preying on the older people," he said.

David also has a message for the man who preyed on his sister.

“Why you did it, I don’t know. I’ve forgiven you...You made a big mistake, and you have to pay for it," he said.

Officials are calling Cooper a flight risk and danger to the community because of his prior record, which includes charges of possession of a syringe, theft, and domestic battery.

If you have any information, please call the South Bend Police.


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