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Police arrest prolific thief

Publish Date 01/06/2021

A suspect in about 15 car break-ins in the West Bottoms in late December, as well as many other property crimes, is in custody and facing multiple charges. Investigation is continuing, and more charges are expected.
DNA and savvy detective work led police to a hotel room near 435 and Front Street on Monday, Jan. 4. There, they located heaps of stolen property and took the suspect into custody.
On Nov. 8, 2020, the suspect went into the open garage of a home-owner doing yardwork. He stole more than $5,000 worth of electronics from the house. He also dropped a cigarette butt. Police recovered it and submitted it to the Crime Lab for potential DNA analysis. On Dec. 2, they got a match.
The suspect proved hard to track down, however. Before police could find him, he stole multiple vehicles and broke into many more, particularly in the 1600 block of Genessee. Detectives were able to find him using a stolen license plate he put on a stolen vehicle. This ultimately led them to the hotel room where the suspect was staying with a woman. Police contacted the woman, who allowed them to search the hotel room. Inside, they found numerous stolen items (pictured) and two guns. The suspect is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms. The suspect also was at the hotel, and police arrested him.
Detectives are working to return the recovered items to theft victims. They also are working with police in neighboring cities in both Missouri and Kansas where the man is a suspect in multiple other property crimes.
He’s currently charged with seven counts ranging from burglary to motor vehicle tampering to unlawful possession of a firearm. More charges are expected.