(KMOV.com) – Four suspects including three teens have been arrested in Washington, Mo. and police said it will put an end to the rash of burglaries in the area.
Six guns were stolen during recent break-ins, and police said those guns likely would have ended up in St. Louis if the suspects had not been caught.
Washington Police said they have been tracking the gun pipeline from rural areas into St. Louis all year. This year, 20 guns have been stolen from home burglaries and car break-ins within the community. Through means including suspect confessions, they have tracked 11 of the guns to St. Louis, three of which were recovered by police. The latest string of burglaries threatens to send six more guns into the pipeline.
Police said the burglars first knocked to see if anybody was home. If anybody answered, the burglars had a story about looking for a lost dog.
“If no one answered, we’re finding they would enter the house through an unlocked door or they would find a window that was open and break through the screen,” said Det. Sgt. Kevin Sitze of the Washington Police.
Police said the thieves stole video game consoles, tablets, cash and six guns. Police suspect that the guns may have been used as currency to buy heroin, but not within the community.
Of the four suspects is 17-year-old Tyler Thurman. The others are 21, 16, and 15-years-old. All four suspects are in custody.
Police are worried about what criminals will do with the guns. One suspect posted a photo of himself on social media with a stolen guns. Another gun was found near children after it was hidden in a wooded area. There is a concern among police that break-ins in rural communities and small towns may be feeding into the pipeline of guns that get into the hands of more dangerous criminals.