Three Centreville men suspected of robbing at least six homes under construction in St. Clair County now face felony charges after a witness caught them in the act, according to police.
Frederick H. Williams, 47, of 331 Johnson Lane, and Darrell S. Roberson, 54, of 413 Johnson Lane, are charged with burglary. Jamal C. Williams, 21, of 297 Johnson Lane, faces a charge of theft over $500.
The charges stemmed from an arrest on April 21 in the 3000 block of Harvest Meadow Drive in an unincorporated area of Belleville. A witness called deputies at 3:42 a.m. after observing men walking through a yard of a construction site for a new house and another man sitting in a vehicle.
Deputies Russell Taylor and James Hendricks interrupted the burglary, arrested a suspect and secured a vehicle. During the investigation, the three suspects were identified and arrested.
Since October 2013, similar burglaries have been reported in the cities of Belleville, Fairview Heights, O'Fallon and Shiloh, and in the unincorporated areas of Belleville and Caseyville. Some victims reported up to $60,000 worth of items were stolen in the burglaries.
Valuable items of evidence were recovered and investigators have determined the suspects were responsible for other burglaries in the county, according to police.
Sheriff Rick Watson praised Taylor and Hendricks along with Investigator Kenneth McHughes for "their steadfast efforts in order to seek justice for the victims."
"The investigations into these types of burglaries, are in no way over, but is an ongoing effort now including multiple law enforcement agencies," Watson said. "We are asking the public who observes suspicious activity to call law enforcement immediately. In this example, if it wasn't for a concerned citizen taking action these suspects would not have been stopped and apprehended in time."
Roberson remains imprisoned in the St. Clair County. Frederick H. Williams and Jamal C. Williams posted bond and have been released.
Anyone with further information regarding similar burglaries is asked to contact McHughes by calling 825-5716.