CAPE GIRARDEAU - Police are investigating the possibility that two Sikeston men accused of breaking into cars at two Cape Girardeau dealerships were involved in more than 60 other vehicle vandalisms and break-ins over the past two months.
Donnie Ray Matheny Jr., 20, and James Terry Simmons, 19, both of Sikeston, were arrested Monday and remained Wednesday at the Cape Girardeau County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash-only bonds.
The men face felony charges of stealing, receiving stolen goods and property damage.
They are scheduled for appearances at 11 a.m. today before Associate Circuit Judge Gary A. Kamp.
Cape Girardeau police Lt. Carl Kinnison said police have been watching car dealerships closely since the spree began two months ago. An officer early Monday noticed that two vehicles at Wieser Honda on Siemers Drive had been broken into and stereos were stolen, Kinnison said.
As a result, another officer parked at Cape GMC Pontiac on South Kingshighway shortly later to see if they would strike again.
"Sure enough, here they came," Kinnison said. "The officer saw them and heard them as they were breaking into the car."
The stereos from the Wieser Honda cars were in the suspects' vehicle, and the men were in the process of stealing a television, remote control and stereo from a vehicle at Cape GMC Pontiac, police said.
Kinnison said the men had an ax handle they used to break the windows.
Police are investigating whether the suspects were involved in the other vehicle vandalisms and break-ins that occurred mostly in residential areas. In addition to smashed windows, items such as cell phones, stereos and CDs were stolen from some of the vehicles.
Kinnison said a five-member task force continues to look into the vandalisms and thefts.
He warned vehicles still may not be safe. "We believe there is still another group out there," Kinnison said. "The evidence suggests that there are other people out there committing these types of offenses. That's why our task force is still active."