3 men charged in connection with theft investigation | Crime
MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Three men are facing stealing charges after a weekend crime spree across southern Mississippi County.
Gary Wayne Hutson, Jr., 20, and Bryan Jacob Leiva, 19, both of East Prairie, are charged with two counts each of tampering with a motor vehicle, first degree, and theft/stealing of a credit card. They also face two counts of misdemeanor theft/stealing.
Nathan C. Harris, 19, of Sikeston, Mo., was charged with a class C felony for theft/stealing of a credit card, misdemeanor theft/stealing and misdemeanor receiving stolen property.
According to Mississippi County Sheriff Keith Moore, the investigation began last Monday when several county residents contacted the sheriff's department to report their vehicles had been broken into overnight.
Due to the high number of complaints, Sheriff Moore and deputies met with residents and began investigating the complaints in the Van Marshall Subdivision.
Deputies learned that a residential surveillance system had recorded the men as they broke into several vehicles at the end of Millar Road. From that recording, deputies quickly identified one of their suspects as Gary Hutson.
Meanwhile, during a separate investigation into similar complaints in the city limits, the East Prairie Police Department found several items stolen from vehicles in rural Mississippi County.
At that time, Gary Hutson and Bryan Leiva were taken into custody and later transferred to the Mississippi County Detention Center.
After their arrests, both men were interviewed by officers. In separate interviews, officers say both men acknowledged their involvement in the vehicle break-ins, and identified others involved in the thefts.
When asked by deputies, Hutson said he had broken into more than 20 vehicles, and then marked the location of each vehicle on a map. Deputies say Leiva couldn't remember the locations, but estimated the number of vehicles to be much higher.
"These guys spent the night pilfering through anything that wasn't locked and stealing anything they could carry," said Deputy Cory Hutcheson.
"Anyone who goes around Mississippi County breaking into vehicles needs to know when you get caught, regardless of what you steal, you will be arrested and charged," said Sheriff Keith Moore.
As of press time, all three remain in custody in the Mississippi County Detention Center with their bonds set at $25,000.
The sheriff's department said the string of thefts is still under investigation; so additional arrests and more charges are expected in the coming weeks.
Sheriff Moore encourages anyone who was victimized and did not make a report of the incident, to do so by contacting the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department at 683-2111.
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