CATCH-A-CROOK: Burglar showers and eats in Springfield home
In this week's Catch-A-Crook, deputies want your help finding this burglar. He spent seven hours inside a home on the northwest side of Springfield. Captain Jeremy Lynn of the Greene County Sheriff's Office shared security video of the burglar and disturbing details of what happened inside the home.
The homeowners were out of town on May 17 and had someone watching the property while they were gone. Captain Lynn says at around 2:30 a.m. security video shows a man on a bicycle riding up to the home. It's located in a neighborhood near I-44 and Highway 13 on Farm Road 112. Investigators say the man broke in and spent seven hours inside the house, doing thousands of dollars of damage.
When the person watching the property showed up later, they called and reported the crime. Captain Lynn says the man showered, ate food and used the bathroom in several locations of the home. Security cameras show him wandering around the front driveway in a bath towel.
The report shows the owners paid an expensive cleaning bill. Before leaving the property, surveillance video shows the man trying to steal a car in the front driveway. Investigators say he damaged the interior of the car trying to get his bicycle to fit in the back. The bike appears to have a white or light frame, and a black and red seat. After several minutes, he takes the bike out of the car and leaves the property at about 9:40 a.m. on May 17.
Captain Lynn says it's possible the man is homeless, but he could also have mental health issues or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Lynn also said the man's behavior inside the home is not consistent with what you would typically expect in a burglary.
Greene County deputies are working to identify two men who cashed fake checks at a Braum's in Joplin, Missouri. The victim lives in Springfield. Surveillance cameras inside the Braum's in late March show an older man with gray hair and a younger man cashing the bogus checks.
Investigators say the victim called authorities in early April after his bank noticed fraudulent activity on his account. It's not clear how the thieves got the account information. The victim lives near Twin Oaks County Club in the 600 block of East Lakewood Place. Captain Jeremy Lynn says it's possible the men accessed the information online or by stealing mail, and then made the fake checks.
If you recognize the men in any of the security videos, call the Greene County Tipline at 417-829-6230.