A resident of East St. Louis has been arrested and charged with committing three burglaries in St. Clair County since January 2018. One of the burglaries was in Belleville, one in Fairview Heights and one in Washington Park. The suspect was captured because he suffered a minor gunshot wound during the third alleged burglary.
According to police, the burglaries demonstrate an increasing level of violence. The first burglary occurred when the suspect allegedly broke into the home of an elderly man in Belleville on January 12. Two weeks later, the same man allegedly robbed a woman on the MetroLink train near the Fairview Heights station. On March 10, he allegedly attempted another robbery in Washington Park, but was shot during the attempt. The bullet wound provided enough information for police to locate and arrest the man. He has been charged with home invasion, robbery, attempted armed robbery, aggravated battery and felon in possession of a firearm.
When announcing the arrest, police pointed to the increasing violence in each incident. A police spokesman said that the police were “happy to have him off the streets.” According to the man’s official police record, he has been convicted of two separate offenses involving theft.
The prosecutors in this case appear to have persuasive evidence, but the method of identification leaves several questions. Also, the testimony of the alleged victims and witnesses may be undercut by proper cross-examination. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for advice on various legal strategies and the likelihood of negotiating a favorable plea agreement or obtaining an acquittal at trial.
Source: Belleville News-Democrat, “Man charged with series of robberies in St. Clair County,” Kara Berg, March 29, 2018