CATCH-A-CROOK: Help stop a car theft ring in Greene County

Published: Oct. 17, 2019 at 11:10 AM CDT
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In this week's Catch A Crook the Greene County sheriff wants your help finding a couple of people accused in a theft ring in the Ozarks.

Surveillance cameras from a Springfield Walmart show a couple walking through the automotive department. Sheriff Jim Arnott says the man and woman are suspects in several car thefts and and a commercial burglary in Battlefield, Missouri where lawn equipment, a flatbed trailer and a truck were stolen.

Security cameras in the Walmart parking lot outside of the auto shop show a red truck arrive. Arnott says the Ford F250 truck was stolen on September 14 west of Highway 13 and CC. Investigators believe this couple is stealing vehicles, committing crimes and then swapping license plates on the cars. In this case, Sheriff Arnott says the thieves are using license plates that match the make and model of the car they steal.

Arnott says the couple is also accused of stealing a Gold Ford Escape. He says they use business parking lots like this to change cars. Deputies found the Ford F250 truck abandoned days later. The owner's 9mm gun had been stolen from it. Detectives also found crystal meth in the truck's console and 3 more license plates under the seat including one from Pennsylvania. The man in the Walmart security video appears to have a goatee and several tattoos on one arm.

Our second Catch A Crook video shows a guy caught on a Ring doorbell camera going through vehicles in a neighborhood near Golden and Plainview on September 30. Sheriff Jim Arnott says the man stole items from those cars, but investigators are more concerned that this thief went up to someone's front door at 5:40 a.m.

The security video is from a home on S. Aaron Avenue. Sheriff Arnott says the thief didn't stop there. He also hit several cars in the same neighborhood and got away with more than $1,000 in stolen items. Arnott warns, "This appears to be a very dangerous, maybe progressive-type criminal who may move into breaking into houses in the middle of the night or the early morning hours."

Car break-ins were also reported nearby on Highpoint in southwest Springfield. Arnott says at least two people are involved. They could be driving an Oldsmobile Alero. The home security video shows a car that appears to be following the thief.

If you have any information on these crimes call the Greene County Tipline at (417) 829-6230.