BELLEVILLE — Police have identified another garage burglar, and they're asking for the public's help in closing the case.
They have in custody the newest suspect, a man who they believe is responsible for six or seven thefts of lawn mowers and weed whackers in the far west end of Belleville over the past few months. However, they're still seeking another man wanted in a dozen more throughout Belleville and in surrounding communities.
Charges have been not filed against the suspect and his name was not released.
Police recovered the items in the 7900 block of West A Street.
Detective Karl Kraft said police are seeking the owners of two items recovered when they caught the newest suspect. He said they need to find the owners in order to close the case.
One of the items is a Ryobi brand weed whacker with a yellow pole, and the other is a red lawnmower, an MTD Yard Machine with a Briggs & Stratton five-horse-power engine.
He said investigators believe the victims may not have noticed the items are missing because they're mowing their lawns less frequently due to the hot and dry weather.
The suspect who is still on the loose was chased by Kraft Tuesday from Fairmont City to East St. Louis, where the suspect ditched a stolen pickup truck and escaped on foot, with the lawnmower in tow.
Kraft said police don't believe the two men were working together.
The detective asked that residents keep their garage doors closed, because leaving them open or cracked provides easy access for thieves.
Those who recognize or own the recovered items should contact Belleville Police detectives Rob Thomason or Matt Kroenig at 234-1218. Thomason is at extension 735; Kroenig is at extension 722.
Contact reporter Laura Girresch at email@example.com or 239-2507. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/BNDBelleville.