Thursday, 06 February 2014 10:53
Police in the metro east say they have broken up a suspected three county burglary ring in Illinois after a father came forward and turned in his son.
Fox 2 reports that police have arrested four suspects and are looking for a fifth. Authorities says they were behind nearly 30 home and car break-ins in Madison, St. Clair, and Monroe Counties, from Hollywood Heights area near Caseyville down to Columbia, Illinois, authorities said.
All of the crimes occurred in December and January.
St. Clair County Sheriff, Rick Watson, said the suspects stole hundreds of items, including firearms, worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Fox2 says 18 year old Tyler Ashcraft, of Caseyville, is the accused ring leader. Ashcraft’s father alerted police investigators who tied Ashcraft to three home burglaries and 21 car break-ins in Columbia.
Sheriff Watson says he applauds Ashcraft's father for doing the right thing, especially with the theft of multiple handguns and long guns.
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:18
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois sheriff says his county has agreed to pay $3,500 to three former inmates to settle their federal lawsuit over living conditions at the jail.
St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson tells the Belleville News-Democrat the payouts to Floyd Robinson, Timothy Headrick and Myron Barber come without the county admitting any wrongdoing alleged in the 2011 lawsuit.
The ex-inmates alleged unacceptable jail conditions, including crowding, inmates forced to sleep on the floor, the foul odor of human waste, insects, mice, small amounts of food per serving and inadequate access to a law library.
The newspaper reported earlier this week that the county also agreed to pay up to $2,000 to each of three former jail inmates who sued over alleged guard abuse.
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 10:23
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - Dozens of inmates at a southwestern Illinois jail allege their constitutional rights were violated when they underwent group strip searches.
The federal lawsuit against the St. Clair County Jail was earlier filed this month in East St. Louis. The (Belleville) News-Democrat reports the inmates seek $10 million alleging "cruel and unusual" punishment.
The 29 inmates allege multiple body cavity searches were conducted in front of other inmates and guards.
The lawsuit contends the searches should been done in private.
St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson couldn't be reached by the newspaper. He didn't immediately return messages left Tuesday.
A similar lawsuit against the jail was dismissed last week. The judge ruled strip searching prisoners as a group didn't violate the Constitution if it wasn't intended to humiliate prisoners.