Suspected burglary ring caught after father turns in son

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CASEYVILLE, IL (KTVI)-- Police broke up a suspected 3 county burglary ring in Illinois after a father came forward and turned in his own son.

Fox 2 caught one of the suspects, J.D. Garrett, 19, of Caseyville, as he bailed out of the St. Clair County Jail Wednesday night.

Garrett is one of 4 suspects arrested, all of them teens.

Police are still looking for a 5th.

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 happened in December and January.

Garrett said only that he wasn’t behind all the burglaries.

“I have nothing to with those burglaries that happened around town.  I know nothing about them,” he said.

St. Clair County Sheriff, Rick Watson, said the suspects stole hundreds of items worth tens of thousands of dollars.

“You’re talking about us currency, you’re talking about firearms, you’re talking about electronics,” he said.

Tyler Ashcraft, 18, of Caseyville, is the accused ring leader.

His neighbor, Zachary Wood, 18, is also charged with burglary, as is Garrett.

“I think because they had so much stuff, dad started saying, ‘whoa, where’s all this coming from?’” Watson said.

After Ashcraft’s father alerted police investigators tied Ashcraft to three home burglaries and 21 car break-ins in Columbia.

Kerry Gum, also of the Hollywood Heights area near Caseyville, is charged with 5 counts in the Columbia crimes; Wood 17.

Like the sheriff, parents applauded Ashcraft’s father for doing the right thing – especially with the theft of multiple firearms.

“Well that’s the thing.  I don’t want to get into specifics on what kind of guns they got, but you talking about handguns, long guns,” Watson said. “I have to applaud any parent that is willing to turn their own kids in. But they’re doing it for the right reasons. They need to get them help.”

Ashcraft's bail is the highest:  $250,000.

At last word, he remained locked up in the Madison County Jail.

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