Sleeping Bandit: Clayton police say burglary suspect pretended to be asleep

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CLAYTON, MO - A burglar turned sleeping bandit?

Police say the man wanted for entering an apartment last week put on an act when a patrol vehicle passed by him at about 4 a.m. Sunday.

“He was pretending to be sleeping in the vehicle,” Clayton Cpl. Jenny Schwartz said.

The vehicle had been reported stolen. Schwartz said the man, Milton Smith, 50, has a history of stealing and burglary. He had been arrested by the same department in 2012 for larceny, she said.

He was arrested without incident on Concordia Avenue.

Inside the vehicle were several stolen items, including car keys to various vehicles, a cell phone, and a garage door opener.

Smith has been charged with second-degree burglary and misdemeanor stealing.

They said surveillance video shows him entering an unlocked back door to an apartment in the Demun neighborhood a week earlier.

No one was home at the time of the incident.

The video shows a man enter the apartment twice, minutes apart. He can be seen stealing an electronic device and a diaper bag.

Cpl. Schwartz said the case involving Milton should serve as a reminder to the public about break-ins – and prevention.

“This can happen anywhere. We’re seeing it across the county and the area,” she said.

She stressed the importance of keeping the doors to homes and vehicles locked. Valuables – including garage door openers – should never be left inside vehicles.

Cpl. Schwartz said Milton is likely connected to break-in cases in the area.

“We think he was looking for easy targets.  Items that were left behind in unlocked cars.  Access to garages, that sort of thing.”

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