Why did a police plane circle St. Charles County? The task force is solving crimes


MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – Why was a Missouri State Highway Patrol plane circling neighborhoods in O’Fallon and St. Charles? That was the question that went viral early Thursday morning in a Facebook post. Now, we finally know the answer.

The “New Wentzvillian” Facebook page shared a screen capture from Municipal Judge Mike Carter. He runs the page and also hosts a TV talk show with the Cardinal Cowboy. The video shows a plane flying from Jefferson City early Thursday morning and then circling a neighborhood near St. Peters several times before moving onto St. Charles.

A task force

St. Charles County’s eight police departments and Missouri Highway State Patrol make up the new auto theft task force. They have been tracking everything from every stolen cars and sharing the intelligence gathered. The end results have been more arrests and fewer car thefts.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says that they received a call from O’Fallon Police at around 3:30 am. Someone called police from a home on Jacobs Place Drive about people pulling car door handles and tampering with back patio doors.

The auto theft task force was with the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s aircraft working the area. They used “FLIR” or infrared technology to locate a suspect. That person was taken into custody after a short police chase on foot.

The plane

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says that the plane was also used to help find a stolen vehicle. Three auto theft suspects were arrested Thursday morning in an incident where two officers were injured.

A license plate reader in O’Fallon, Missouri spotted a pickup truck that was stolen Thursday in Wentzville a few days ago.

Officers from a car theft task force comprised of St. Charles County officers and the Missouri State Highway Patrol spotted three people approaching that truck in a parking lot. When they moved in, the three suspects ran. After a short foot chase, two were arrested. The third remained on the run until about 6:15 a.m.

Injured officers

Police told FOX 2 that two officers were injured during the course of this incident. One officer suffered a broken arm and the other an injury to his shoulder. Both officers were released from the hospital a short time later.

The two adults arrested are identified as Markel Canada, 19, and Raquion Murray, 18, both from Illinois. They are being charged with assault, resisting arrest, property damage. Their bond is set at $100,000.

The noise?

O’Fallon police released this statement about the investigation:

“We received numerous phone calls and social media comments complaining of the noise produced by the officers in the area and the air unit overhead. We are aware and understand that this incident caused some disruption to the peaceful night for many residents in the area. However, please be patient with us as we continually strive to make O’Fallon a great place to live, work and play. Crime does not always allow us to decide what time of day we will be busy, but just know, the O’Fallon Police Department will continue to be vigilant in our efforts no matter what time of day.”

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