SIKESTON - At least 16 burglaries, approximately 20 thefts from vehicles, and numerous thefts from several local businesses were solved with the arrests of two pairs of thieves.
The thieves apparently were working independently of each other in the Sikeston area, said Sikeston Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden in announcing the arrests Friday afternoon. During interviews with the suspects, DPS detectives learned about other crimes and spent three days gathering property, taking statements, and in some cases making reports where victims had failed to report crimes until learning about them during the investigation.
During an interview with the juvenile arrested as a result of the search, officers learned his accomplice was Kaitez Braselman, 17, of Sikeston. A number of stolen items were recovered during the search of the Braselman's house. Juden said this pair was responsible for a number of the burglaries around the south central part of town during their crime spree.
The juvenile was placed in detention.
Braselman was charged by Scott County Prosecutor Paul Boyd with four counts of the Class C felony of second degree burglary and stealing, one count of the Class B felony of first degree burglary and stealing. Braselman is currently in DPS custody awaiting transfer to Scott County under $30,000 bond.
The second pair of thieves were actually caught after their arrests on unrelated charges, according to DPS.
A Sikeston resident was online checking his account, when he observed someone had used his credit card at a local business. After checking and finding his card missing from his vehicle, he called local authorities. DPS officers then contacted the business where the card was used, obtained descriptive information on the suspect and were able to locate and arrest him on a Scott County probation warrant.
"During a search of the suspect, the stolen card was found in one of his pockets," Juden stated in a news release. "During a subsequent search of this suspect's vehicle and residence, several other stolen items were located and a second suspect's name came into play."
The second suspect was currently in DPS custody on unrelated traffic charges.
During interviews it was determined the pair were involved in several thefts from vehicles over the past weekend. Most of these thefts occurred in the north central section and far eastern section of Sikeston, as well as in Miner.
Justin Holland, 19, of Sikeston, is charged with receiving stolen property, fraudulent use of a credit device, felony stealing and third degree assault on an officer. Holland is currently in Scott County under a total bond of $17,500.
Additional charges are pending in this investigation with additional arrests expected.
Juden commended the efforts of citizens and officers involved in the case. "This is a fine example of what we can accomplish when we all work together," he said citing the call from the citizen who had the card stolen, the descriptive information obtained by the clerk where the card was used, and the officers who quickly ran with the information and were able to arrest the suspect. Juden added: "It just doesn't get much better than that."