On Wednesday, December 18, 2019, at approximately 6:00 a.m., officers responded to Circle K, 301 Salem Place to investigate a stolen vehicle, which had just occurred. The truck, a 2012 Dodge Ram, had been left parked and unoccupied on the parking lot with the engine running while the owner went inside. A short time later a young male entered the vehicle and drove away.
This was the fourth stolen vehicle from this location in the past two weeks, all with the keys left in the ignition and running while the driver went inside.
Having recovered the other stolen vehicles in East St. Louis, detectives from the Fairview Heights Police Department searched the area. They were able to locate the truck in the 1000 block of Market, just west of the John Robinson Housing Complex. At the time, the vehicle was occupied by two males who fled the area at a high rate of speed through the snow-packed streets after identifying police in the area. Detectives were later able to locate the truck wrecked on 18th Street, just south of Tudor Avenue in East St. Louis. The driver had lost control of the truck and slid sideways into a retaining wall. As the truck slid, the two suspects ran from the vehicle, which was witnessed by a business owner in the area, who described the males and gave a direction they had run. Detectives were able to locate the males running through a park in the area of the crash, who were placed under arrest and positively identified by the witness.
The suspects have been identified as 15-year old juveniles from East St. Louis. The investigation revealed that the males were responsible for all four of the stolen vehicles, providing detectives with full details of their thefts. The juveniles are currently being held in custody in a juvenile detention facility and were not harmed during the crash.
The Fairview Heights Police would like to remind citizens that it violates Illinois’ law to leave a vehicle unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the ignition, and setting the vehicle in park. However, this does not include a motor vehicle equipped with a remote starter system.
Leaving your vehicle running with the keys in the ignition is an invitation for thieves. It can leave you without a car, and possibly with a court date for the citation you could be issued.
- All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.