Willow Springs, Mo. Police arrest 19-year-old for school burglary, warrant issued for second suspect

WILLOW SPRINGS, Mo. -- Two burglars were caught on camera breaking into a pair Willow Springs schools and stealing cash.

Willow Springs, Mo. Police Dept.

Wednesday afternoon, Willow Springs Police announced an arrest in the case.

19-year-old Alexander Freize is in custody, charged with first degree property damage and second degree burglary.

Police Chief Bryan Hogan says a warrant has been issued for the arrest of 19-year-old Dillon Luck, who police believe is the other man seen on video burglarizing the school.

"Early Tuesday morning between 1 am and 3 am," said Willow Springs School Resource Officer Glen Moore, when asked when the burglary happened.

That's when police say the 19-year-old pair were inside the two schools, grabbing what they could and leaving the buildings in disaray.

"They left quite a mess, Moore added. Our maintenance people have been busy fixing that. There was a lot of broken glass and destroyed property."

Officer Moore says the two likely climbed on construction equipment and other structures outside the back part of the middle school, up to the third story, where they busted out a library window and gained access inside the school.

"They were in here for a total of about two hours. During that time, there was a break when they left and came back and were able to steal more items, Moore told KY3. They used either a trash bag or something similar and may have even placed items down their pants to hold them."

Moore says the pair stole or damaged over $2,000 worth of property from the assistant principal's office, a counselor's office, another office, two separate libraries and a student store.

Andrew Coursen, the district's Technology Director, spent the entire day Tuesday reviewing nearly 100 cameras to see where the men had been.

"For every second we could see them on campus, we could account for where they were and what they were doing. It was quite an involved process," Coursen explained.

Coursen says the two were almost caught by a janitor.

"At one point, we had them in the building, while we had a janitor in the other part of the building. If they would've crossed it would have been interesting to see that," Coursen exclaimed.

Once the pictures were blasted on social media, the public went to work helping police.

"The accountability of a small town is always refreshing. It's sad to hear that it's potentially former students like we're talking about, Officer Moore said. It's sad to see that happened but it's also nice to see everybody pull together to come to a good conclusion."

Chief Hogan tells KY3 that Freize was out on bond after being arrested for a previous burglary at the city's golf course.

The school and police say the public's help with tips helped lead to the arrest.

Willow Springs, Mo. Police Dept.