An O’Fallon family hired a 23-year-old neighbor to mow their lawn — and then he broke into their home to steal a Wii gaming console while they were on vacation, according to police.
Kurt and Cynthia Cooper had been on vacation for about a week in mid-October when they returned home to find their Thorn Creek Court home’s rear door damaged and their Wii console missing, O’Fallon Police Detective Brian Gimpel wrote in a search warrant application.
Through an investigation, police identified James Caleb Bosse as a suspect. A neighbor reported seeing a man come out the Coopers’ front door Oct. 17, Gimpel wrote. She told police he had a lawn mower in his car’s trunk — which was open.
“She said she thought it was odd because the male did not cut the grass even though he had the lawn mower,” Gimpel wrote.
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A detective found items for sale on Craigslist matching what the Coopers were missing. On that post, Gimpel wrote, Bosse’s cell phone number was listed under the seller’s contact information. Later, Bosse would tell police he was selling the items for a friend he would not identify.
Then, Bosse’s parents consented to a search of their home — where the man lives. Bosse’s father found the Wii and several console accessories under Bosse’s bed. They matched the Coopers’ description of their stolen property, Gimpel wrote.
Gimpel also noted Bosse had been seen on Oct. 17 by an officer and a neighbor pushing a lawn mower on Schwarz Meadow Drive. Later that evening, a woman who lives on that street called police to say a man had approached her house to look through the windows, but he never knocked or rang the doorbell.
She caught the man on her home surveillance system, and several people, including his father, identified the man as Bosse.
Bosse is facing a charge of residential burglary. He was in custody as of Wednesday morning on 75,000 bail, which means he would have to post $7,500 in cash for his release on bond.
He was due in court for a hearing Thursday.