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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Two St. Louis officials are facing federal charges that they stole nearly a half million dollars in city funds over the past eight years.

A federal grand jury indicted 43-year-old Thomas "Dan" Stritzel, the city's chief park ranger, and 55-year-old deputy parks commissioner Joseph Vacca.

The indictment released Thursday accuses each man of three mail-fraud counts, alleging they men used various schemes to spend the stolen money on vehicle leases, credit card bills and other expenses.

A message was left Thursday with Stritzel's attorney, Scott Rosenblum. Online court records don't show whether Vacca has legal counsel, and he doesn't have a listed telephone number.

Maggie Crane, a spokeswoman for Mayor Francis Slay, says the two defendants are being placed on forced, unpaid leave, pending disciplinary proceedings.

 
Published in Local News

Federal authorities are offering a reward for anyone who can help find the person who stole explosives in Troy, Missouri.

The Lincoln Count Sheriff's Office says the suspect stole two crates that contained 100 pounds of explosives.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the successful prosecution of the suspects in the case.

 

Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Police are searching for the car thief who got more than he expected when he took an idling car - a toddler in the backseat.

The 2-year-old is OK after the scare late Tuesday in St. Louis.

Police say a car was left running at an ATM. The child's father got out to use the machine and while he was gone, someone stole the car with the child inside.

Police found the car minutes later in an alley. The child slept through the whole ordeal.

Officers are looking at ATM video in an effort to find the suspect.

Published in Local News

After a break-in at one of their building sites, Habitat For Humanity reached out to the public to help recoup their losses. And one company stepped up big time.

Workers here at Home Depot on south Hanley loaded up trucks with over $13,000 dollars worth of tools and construction materials, replacing every item that Habitat for Humanity listed as stolen. The break-ins happened in the Carondelet Neighborhood earlier this week.

Kimberly McKinney, the CEO for Habitat for Humanity St. Louis, was overjoyed by the community willing to help, "This is pretty incredible. As they rolled the tools out, I got a little teary, and I don't even know how to use most of this stuff. Really, really an incredible day. The generosity fo Home Depot and the St. Louis community has been incredible."

Now thanks to those donations, a scheduled Habitat for Humanity Mother's Day build is back on track. About 60 women volunteers are coming together on Saturday to build houses for the less fortunate.

Published in Local News

A charity is asking for help after they were victimized by a burglar. 

In one week, Habitat for Humanity was burglarized in the Carondelet neighborhood two separate times, with the suspects taking around $15,000 worth of tools.

The organization is now asking for help to replace their stolen tools. Instead of giving tools, Kyle Hunsberger, director of construction, says money is the most helpful donation. He also says there is something else the community can do, "It goes without saying, don't buy tools from somebody that rolls up in a pickup truck and says they have a really good deal."

Anyone interested in helping, can donate at habitatstl.org

Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 866.371.TIPS

 

Published in Local News

DIXON, Ill. (AP) - The Lee County state's attorney says she decided to drop state charges against former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell because a second trial after her conviction in federal court would not result in additional jail time or restitution.

Crundwell admitted in the federal case that she stole nearly $54 million in public money from the northern Illinois city over some two decades that she served as its bookkeeper.

The Lee County prosecutor, Anna Sacco-Miller, said Tuesday that any sentence in the state proceedings would be served concurrently with the nearly 20 years that Crundwell received in February in the federal case. As a result, she says, the expense to taxpayers of a second trial cannot be justified.

The charges can be refiled if Crundwell's appeal of her federal sentence is successful.

 

Published in Local News

 

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A St. Louis County man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing sports memorabilia and electronics from an assistant coach for the St. Louis Rams, along with other crimes.

KSDK-TV reports that 25-year-old James Bright of Fenton also pleaded guilty in two other criminal cases at a hearing Tuesday.

Bright and an accomplice were accused of breaking into the Kirkwood home of Rams tight ends coach Rob Boras on New Year's Eve. The theft included NCAA rings and a gold NFL championship ring, along with a TV, a game system and other electronics.

Bright also admitted to burglary and stealing at two other properties.

The second suspect, 27-year-old Jeffrey Medcalf, is expected in court next month to enter a plea.

 

 

Published in Local News
It took under a minute for thieves to grab nearly 20,000 dollars worth of jewelry from a Cahokia pawn shop last night.

The crime was caught by surveillance cameras and the video shows an organized group of criminals. The men--all in masks--broke the front window, walked up to a jewelry cabinet, broke the glass, and started grabbing jewelry. Police said the suspects were in and out of the store within 30 seconds and made off with 150 pieces of jewelry worth around $20,000.

The suspects drove off in Chevy Impala.
Published in Local News
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — Police say an intoxicated man who broke into a St. Louis-area church might have gotten away with it if not for a case of the munchies.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 24-year-old Andrew Jung of St. Charles is charged with three felonies and jailed on $30,000 bond following the March 8 break-in of the St. Peters Catholic Church in St. Charles.

Responding officers found that a deep freezer had been damaged, and ice cream had been taken.

Jung was spotted walking about three blocks from the church — intoxicated and with ice cream on his face and clothing.

Court documents show that Jung is on probation for burglarizing another church nearby.
Published in Local News
A woman who allegedly stole items from several Sam's Clubs then sold them on eBay, faces federal charges.

Authorities say that Tammy Baggio stole from Sam's Club locations in several states, including stores in St. Louis in St. Charles, between February and August of 2012. Baggio would post the stolen items on eBay. If convicted, she could serve up to five years in prison and faces fines up to a quarter million dollars.
Published in Local News
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