Crime

Neighbors credited with helping police arrest juveniles who broke into mayor’s home

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Police are holding two juveniles in connection with a burglary at the East St. Louis mayor’s home, and they are crediting her watchful neighbors with helping catch them.

East St. Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks and her family were not home at the time of the burglary, but her neighbors were watching and notified police when they saw the burglary suspects taking things from her residence.

East St. Louis detective Gilda Johnson confirmed the arrest of the two juveniles. Police are still looking for two other suspects in connection with the burglary. She said police are thankful to the neighbors for being alert and helping them to make the arrests.

“We were able to get a lot of the mayor’s property back because of her very alert neighbors,” Johnson said. They saw the suspects taking the items and they saw were they stashed them, Johnson said.

Jackson-Hicks was grateful as well.

“We watch out for one another on this block. And, we have to start watching out for one another all over the city. We can’t let anyone who is doing wrong to take over our city. Nine out of 10 times somebody knows who is doing the break-ins at our residences. We have to start letting these individuals know that we stand together and when they do wrong, we will do our part to make sure there is an arrest,” Jackson-Hicks said. “I am so thankful I have good neighbors. I want neighbors like those who live on my block to be on every block in the city.”

Carolyn P. Smith has worked for the Belleville News-Democrat for 18 years and currently covers breaking news in the Metro-East. She graduated from the Journalism School at the University of Missouri at Columbia and says news is in her DNA.

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