A Highland man has been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and burglary to a vehicle, and St. Clair County Sheriff's Department investigators believe more people are involved.
Joseph H. Rodgers, 29, has been charged in St. Clair County with possession of a stolen vehicle in Freeburg and burglary to a vehicle in St. Libory. He was in custody on $35,000 bail at the St. Clair County jail as of Thursday afternoon.
"Over the course of the last two months, rural St. Clair County and the surrounding counties have seen an increase in stolen vehicles, burglary to vehicles, and shed or garage burglaries," a news release from the sheriff's department said.
The release said investigators believe others are involved in the thefts and burglaries, and that they are mostly "random crimes of opportunity." Rural St. Clair County, as well as Clinton, Randolph and Monroe counties, have seen an uptick in such crimes in the past two months, the news release said.
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The sheriff's department says suspicious activity that should be reported includes someone coming onto property to look for a person who does not live there, or looking for a lost animal. Suspicious or criminal activity can be reported to the department at 618-277-3504.