Residents of the Villa Hills neighborhood in unincorporated Belleville have experienced a number of automobile burglaries over the past several days. The combination of observant residents and quick police action led to the arrest of an East St. Louis man in connection with the thefts. He may need the services of a capable criminal defense attorney before this cases comes to an end if he hopes to avoid harsh penalties.
The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department was investigating a string of vehicle burglaries in four Belleville-area neighborhoods when the residents of Villa Hills alerted police to an increase in the frequency of the burglaries. One man told police that he had confronted another man who appeared to be the burglar. After the confrontation, the accused man allegedly ran into a nearby wooded area. Police cordoned off the area but were unable to locate the suspect.
Later that afternoon, police received reports of more vehicle burglaries. The suspect was eventually arrested and taken to the St. Clair County Jail. No shots were fired and no one was injured. Police believe that the defendant has committed more burglaries in the area, but for the moment, he is only charged with the burglaries in Villa Hills. Police also believe that other individuals may have been involved in the burglary spree.
Police have not disclosed whether they have eyewitnesses to any of the alleged thefts or whether they possess forensic evidence such as fingerprints or DNA samples linking the accused individuals to the crimes. This is important to note because the defendant is entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. For this reason, this man, as well as anyone facing similar charges, may benefit from consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the facts and evidence that govern the case and for an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.
Source: Belleville News-Democrat, “East St. Louis man charged in connection with vehicle burglaries,” Kelsey Landis, Aug. 3, 2017