Franklin County, Mo. - Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said, “Over the past few months we had seen an increase in burglaries. Due to the increase it was our officers who came up with the idea of organizing a Burglary Task Force (BTF). I know they have worked very hard on this.”
The BTF was established during the first part of January and as a result 8 suspects have been arrested after developing possible suspects and persons of interest from intelligence information received by the Sheriff’s Office.
Toelke said, “The BTF is continuing to go through old case files, which we hope will lead to further arrests in the near future.”
The arrests made were for crimes that crimes include burglary, stealing, receiving stolen property, possession of methamphetamine precursors, and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.
Past information was indicating that the majority of offenders were committing burglaries and selling the stolen property to purchase heroin locally and in the St. Louis area.
The BTF was the first time Franklin County had established and organized this type of operation.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics show there has been consistently 300-400 reported burglaries in Franklin County in each of the years between 2008 and 2013.
The primary purpose of the BTF was to investigate burglary reports resulting in theft of property within the county in an effort to recover stolen property, identify suspects involved in the thefts, and gather intelligence and evidence to seek prosecution.
The team was comprised of Detectives, Road Patrol Deputies, Reserve Deputies, Command and Support staff from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
The two week operation was a cooperative effort between the BTF, members of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Safety Unit, S.W.A.T. operators and Air Support.
Resources from local municipal police agencies, the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Missouri Children’s Division, and the Franklin County Information Technology department were also utilized.
The names of the suspects are being withheld pending formal charges.
Their ages range from 20 to 40 years old. Several stolen items were recovered including, jewelry, guns, power tools, electronics, lawn tools and an all-terrain vehicle.
Additional leads have developed over the course of the operation and are still being investigated.
If you have any information regarding suspects or the location of stolen property please contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at 636-583-2560. Callers may remain anonymous if they wish.