O’FALLON, Mo. – Police say a thirsty burglar gave himself away because he just couldn’t resist the homeowner’s iced tea.
It happened in O’Fallon, Missouri, on Brook Mont Drive near Feise Road. It’s a burglary so bizarre, police say they solved it with a single bottle of Gold Peak iced tea.
“We really try to focus on the little things, and those are the little things that solve the big things like burglaries,” said O’Fallon Police Sgt. Bryan Harr.
Sgt. Harr said the big clue was found in the victim’s backyard after the burglary in September.
During the burglary, police say the suspect stole more than $3,200 in jewelry, including two St. Dominic High School class rings and $500 cash.
None of it was recovered, unfortunately. But police reported arresting a 32-year-old man after a DNA hit less than one month later.
The FOX Files found the backyard where police cracked the case. The homeowner wanted his privacy protected and declined to talk on camera, but he showed us the exact spot, in the corner of his yard, where police found one of his iced tea bottles.
The homeowner says he’s a big fan of iced tea, showing us his fridge full of bottles. He says he told police one was missing.
The victim added that the suspect was smart enough to use cleaning liquid to wipe fingerprints off the back slider, but oddly left the near-empty iced tea behind.
Sgt. Harr commented, “Some could call him the thirsty burglar.”
The DNA lab hit led to the October arrest of Jacobie Martell Thompson. He’s now charged with felony burglary and stealing.
According to court records obtained by the FOX Files, “Thompson denied ever being at the victim’s residence” and that his criminal record includes prior arrests for 20 burglaries. Court records also say the suspect recently served 5 years on a 15-year prison sentence.
Court records list Thompson as living on Prescott Court in O’Fallon, just a five-minute drive from the suspect to his alleged target on Brook Mont.
Neighbor Nick Bonilla commented, “So he’s been doing it awhile. It’s good that they caught him.”
Bonilla, who lives near the burglary victim, says he’s thankful for the detective’s precision, as he said, “Using DNA evidence to solve burglaries, I think that’s great.”
The unidentified victim told the FOX Files he was also happy with police checking a hunch that some might overlook.