Police say habitual offender behind Carmel home break-ins

Timothy Barnes
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Carmel police have a career criminal in jail after a series of daytime break-ins.

Timothy Barnes, 39, is accused of three daytime break-ins in one neighborhood Monday morning. One of the homes had two children inside.

A brother and sister caught in their home with a burglar stayed calm and courageous. Their 911 call helped police arrest an experienced thief, who investigators call a bad guy.

The children fled after calling police. Arriving officers caught Barnes after he jumped from a second-floor window.

"We got a bad guy off the street. Officers were able to take him into custody without anyone getting hurt," said Carmel Police Lt. Joe Bickel.

Monday around noon, police say Barnes went through an affluent west Carmel neighborhood, knocking and ringing doorbells.

"If no one is home, he's taking advantage of the empty residence," Bickel explained.

Investigators found two other nearby homes broken into. According to court documents, Barnes was caught carrying stolen money, jewelry and prescription drugs.

He's charged with burglary, theft, drug possession, and being an habitual offender. Barnes has two previous criminal convictions.

"Things happen at night," Brenda Miyamoto said. "You'd expect, but during the day, it's scary."

For Brenda and other parents whose children are sometimes home alone, police say the victims talked with their kids ahead of time, about what to do during emergencies or a break in. Before leaving, Brenda locks doors, sets the security alarm, and makes sure her children have their cell phones handy.

Until yesterday, Miyamoto admits they though mom was "probably overprotective and a little kooky. But their safety is first."

Children and parents who were scared of the dark have quickly learned the dangers of the day.

Barnes is facing the possibility of spending decades in prison. If found guilty of theft and burglary charges, a conviction for being an habitual offender would add as many as 30 more years to his prison sentence.