Police probe rash of burglaries in Vermilion County

Police probe rash of burglaries in Vermilion County

DANVILLE — Vermilion County sheriff's deputies are investigating whether two people arrested earlier this week after a police chase can be connected to recent residential burglaries in northern Vermilion County.

Capt. Rod Kaag, chief investigator with the Vermilion County sheriff's department, said in the last few months there has been an increase in burglaries in the north end of the county. He said residential burglaries are also occurring in western Indiana.

Kaag said the two people arrested earlier this week after a sheriff's deputy spotted them leaving a rural home are under suspicion of being involved in the rash of burglaries, although Kaag added that the department also has other suspects in some of the burglaries.

Myrna J. Moore, 33, of Hoopeston, and Jeremiah F. Smith, 33, of Rossville, were charged Wednesday in Vermilion County Circuit Court with residential burglary. Moore was also charged with aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and Smith was also charged with resisting or obstructing a police officer.

Kaag said Moore and Smith were arrested on Tuesday when a deputy sheriff was patrolling and spotted two individuals getting into a van at a rural residence northeast of Bismarck. The deputy attempted to stop them, and they drove off in the van. The deputy chased the vehicle. Kaag said the suspects were throwing stolen merchandise from the van as the deputy chased them over the state line into western Indiana. The suspects eventually led police back into Illinois east of Rossville, where officers put stop sticks in the road, flattening the tires of the van after it drove over them. Kaag said with flattened tires the two continued in the van, driving through farm fields where the driver eventually lost control and wrecked.

Kaag said Smith, who is on parole, had been arrested and charged with drug possession last week and bonded out on those charges last week. His preliminary hearing in that case is set for Oct. 24, and his preliminary hearing in the residential burglary case is set for Oct. 31. Moore's preliminary hearing is also scheduled for Oct. 31, and both are being held in the Vermilion County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

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