Suspects sought in Metro East car break-ins, theft attempt -

Suspects sought in Metro East car break-ins, theft attempt

MILLSTADT, Ill. ( -- A rash of car break-ins and an attempted car theft have police in the Metro East searching for the suspects.

It happened around 2:30 a.m. Friday in Millstadt. Police say four to five men in their late teens to early 20’s were driving a gold Buick and broke into 15 cars in the Alpine Trails subdivision.

Police said the crime was not a typical car break-in spree.

“They emptied out the whole entire glove box, emptied out the console,” said Justin Juenger, one of the victims.

Juenger said he woke up around 4 a.m. on Friday to police knocking on his door.

“I came out and my Jeep was in the middle of the street, doors all open, still running, radio blaring," Juenger said. "They tried to steal it and didn't get very far."

The most unusual part of the crime, however, was that the suspects didn't take anything out of his car, instead leaving things behind.

“If anyone knows who this [sleeping bag] belongs to... there’s a coat back there, then I don’t know whose coat this is either, it’s not mine,” Juenger said, pulling things out of his Jeep.

After abandoning the Jeep and the stolen goods, the thieves fled in a separate getaway car, cutting off a Millstadt police officer who responded to the scene.

“The officer tries to make a stop head on when the vehicle swerves and cuts around the squad car and hits the ditch and then continues west bound,” said Lieutenant Alan Hucke with Millstadt police.

Dash cam video shows part of the chase, but because of speed and weather, the officer ended the pursuit. Millstadt police don't believe the thieves were from the area.  

“The age plus what they stole, it may not be hardcore professional burglars but just young people committing mayhem, looking for an opportunity to get some electronics to pawn,” said Lt. Hucke.

Lt. Hucke said the thieves will faces multiple felony charges when caught. He said anyone with information should call Millstadt Police.


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