Two suspects were arrested and charged for two separate reported burglaries that occurred in May in West Belleville.
Belleville Police Department along with the St. Clair County Drug Tactical Unit (DTU) led both investigations resulting in the arrest of a 61-year-old Belleville man, Charles Griffin, as well as a 22-year-old East St. Louis man, Amir Hunt-Salaam. Both were charged with residential burglary.
Belleville Detective Sgt. Mark Heffernan said Wednesday that authorities believe the two are not connected.
Griffin was arrested at his residence May 23 for an alleged burglary reported May 19. Authorities said at the time of his arrest, Griffin was found to be in possession of stolen items from a residential burglary that reportedly took place in the 4800 block of Walter Street in Belleville.
Belleville detectives believe Griffin may be a suspect in other cases in the area and will continue their investigation. The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Griffin with one count of residential burglary and one count of theft. Bail was set at $100,000.
Police arrested Hunt-Salaam on Friday after the DTU was conducting an operation in which Hunt-Salaam was the target. The suspect was taken into custody as a result of a traffic stop. Police said DTU investigators located evidence in the vehicle that linked Hunt-Salaam to a May 9 residential burglary in the first block of Glenview Drive in Belleville.
After interviewing the suspect at the St. Clair County Jail, Belleville detectives believe Hunt-Salaam may be responsible for additional burglaries in West Belleville, with other subjects involved. Police are continuing to investigate.
The state’s attorney’s office charged Hunt-Salaam on Tuesday with one count of residential burglary. Bail was set at $50,000.
As a result of DTU’s investigation, Hunt-Salaam was also charged with one count of armed violence, two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, unlawful possession of a stolen firearm and unlawful possession of cannabis. Hunt-Salaam’s bail amount from these additional charges was set at $150,000.
Griffin and Hunt-Salaam remain in custody at the St. Clair County Jail.