ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- Detectives in St. Clair County arrest a couple of suspected burglars in the act and are shocked to find that one is wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet.
Investigators say he used his second chance to go right on back to his old ways. The teen was sent back out into society with a GPS monitor cuffed to his ankle. But, it didn’t stop him from allegedly committing more crimes. They’ve earned him a cot in the St. Clair County jail.
Ed Rhein and his wife were gone less than 30 minutes when someone broke into their home just after 11 a.m.
“This is where they stood on the trash can to get up through the window,” Rhein said. “This is one of the handprints on the glass.”
The thief stole cash and ruby earrings, stunk up Ed’s bathroom, then waltzed right out the front door!
Undercover detectives spent the next few days staked out in the Chenot Place subdivision looking for the thugs responsible for several home and car breakins. That’s when they spotted Warren Stepney, Jr.
“When he was walking, he was looking through yards and kept looking over his shoulder,” St. Clair County Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Johnson said of Stepney. “[Detectives] noticed that in the back area - back pocket - that he had a large file, which is commonly used as a burglary tool.”
Detectives also noticed a GPS ankle monitor, which they say is a tell-tale sign that Stepney had been in trouble before. He did six months of a three-year sentence for burglary. Part of his parole required him to wear the tracking device, but it proved to do little good at really knowing where he was.
Deputies searched Stepney’s home and say they found all kinds of stuff reported stolen in the last couple of weeks.
“I guess they let him out of jail too soon,” Rhein said.
No one at probation and parole was available to answer our questions tonight about what went wrong in guarding Warren Stepney, but It’ll be my first call to find out tomorrow morning.
Also part of this ongoing case, detectives arrested Stepney’s young neighbor. They say thanks to watchful neighbors, detectives were able to arrest the young teen after he was seen breaking into a garage. Capt. Johnson said the teen should have been in school at the time.