ELKHART — An Elkhart man has been charged with burglarizing a woman's home and punching her, just weeks after he was accused of striking a store security guard and threatening to kill another woman during a theft.

Josue Morales Pereira, 27, was charged Wednesday in the burglary incident, which allegedly occurred in May.

He had previously been arrested following an alleged theft at JCPenney on June 23.

He faces charges including burglary of a dwelling, a Level 4 felony, robbery by force, a Level 5 felony, and misdemeanor battery causing injury. He is being held in the Elkhart County Correctional Facility on $20,000 total bond.

His initial court hearing on the new charges was set for today.

According to court documents:

An Elkhart Police officer responded to an Oakland Avenue apartment June 3 and spoke with a woman. She said Morales Pereira, her neighbor, had assaulted her and stolen something from her home. 

She said the burglary had occurred May 24.

The woman said she left to run errands and returned to find that the screen on her front window was removed and a TV converter box and antenna were missing from her home. She reported it to the police, and after they left, Morales Pereira came to her residence and asked about $16 she owed him for some movies.

She said he became angry and punched her with a closed fist. She later picked him out of a photo lineup.

A neighbor told police she saw someone looking into the the apartment, then remove the screen and enter through the window. She also identified Morales Pereira in a photo lineup.

Morales Pereira told police the resident owed him $200. He said the window was open and he reached in and took a TV converter and antenna, but denied touching the woman in any way.

During the June 23 incident, police responded to JCPenney around 2:30 p.m. for a report of a shoplifter. A man later identified as Morales Pereira was being followed by security and was later found in Yellow Creek between Concord Intermediate School and the high school.

A store employee told police she approached Morales Pereira after he was seen going into a juniors fitting room and came out while clearly wearing all the items under his regular clothes. She said he threatened to kill her and told her he had a gun.

A security guard said while she was approaching him, Morales Pereira hit her in the chest and ran away. She followed him and saw him discard pieces of clothing in the Concord Mall parking lot and off a bridge that crosses the creek.

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