Police arrested three teens this week after authorities said they located a stolen Chevrolet Suburban and found evidence of vehicle burglaries reported in midtown Belleville.
Belleville Police Department detailed the arrests of one 15-year-old boy as well as two 18-year-olds, Lester D. Smith and August T. Burns. All three suspects are from Belleville.
Police said officers were on patrol after midnight on Tuesday in a neighborhood that had reported several recent vehicle burglaries. While on patrol, officers said they saw a Suburban with Missouri registration driving slowly in an alley in the 900 block of St. Clair Avenue. Officers ran the license plate and learned that the SUV was reported stolen from Clayton, Mo. earlier in the day.
Officers continued to follow the Suburban until additional officers could respond to the area. Police said the vehicle pulled into a driveway in the 600 block of Centreville Avenue, and that’s when one person fled from the vehicle. The person was not immediately located, police said, but two others – a 15-year-old juvenile and Smith – were taken into custody at the vehicle.
Police said they conducted a search of the Suburban and found two loaded handguns as well as evidence of vehicle burglaries recently reported in the area.
At about 9 a.m. Tuesday, officers with the Belleville Police Department Special Operations unit located and arrested the third suspect, Burns, at a residence in the 600 block of Centreville Avenue.
The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Smith with two counts of burglary and one count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon while Burns was charged with one count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Their bail amounts were set at $50,000 each.
The 15-year-old was charged in juvenile court.
Police said Smith and Burns were transferred to the St. Clair County Jail. Detectives are continuing to investigate whether the suspects are connected with other midtown burglaries.