The thing about stealing a smartphone these days is you really have to be at least slightly smarter than the phone you've snatched.
But Benjamin Lillard, a 23-year-old St. Peters resident, apparently had a bit of trouble getting away with his cellphone theft this week -- in part, because the phone he stole had a GPS app that led cops straight to his location in real time.
Officials say that when cops arrived to the County Creek address with the help of the GPS app, the suspect tried to hide. In the attic. He was not successful.
Unfortunately for Lillard, he also had also stolen a firearm that he had reportedly taken from a residence one day earlier -- an item which police located when they found him.
The St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has issued warrants for receiving stolen property and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia; Lillard is currently being held at St. Charles County Jail with a $5,000 bond. More charges are expected, police say.
He stole the smartphone -- and some cash -- from a home on the 900 block of Comstock Station in the middle of the night on Monday while the victim slept, police say. The victim discovered the items were missing from the kitchen table in the morning, and police believe the suspect gained access to the home through an unlocked door.
The victim called cops hours after reporting the burglary, stating that the GPS app on the phone was showing the County Creek location where police eventually apprehended the man.
The suspect has a history of burglaries. He was released from prison in February this year after serving fifteen months for second-degree burglary and several other charges. He also had outstanding warrants for assault, cops say.
Here's the full news release from St. Peters Police Department.
Suspect Arrested for Receiving Stolen Property
St. Peters, 07/23/13: The St. Peters Police Department arrested a suspect who was in possession of stolen property obtained in recent burglaries. The suspect was identified as:
W/M 23 years old
1st block of Country Creek
St. Peters Resident
On July 22nd, a burglary occurred on the 900 block of Comstock Station during the overnight hours while the victim slept. The victim discovered a Smartphone and cash were stolen from the kitchen table inside the residence. It is believed the suspect gained access through an unlocked rear door. Several hours after officers took the burglary report, the victim contacted our department stating the GPS app on the phone was showing a current location on Country Creek.
Officers responded the address on Country Creek and a phone from the Comstock Station burglary and a stolen firearm, from a burglary on July 20th on the 500 block of Wyatt Drive, were located in the residence. Lillard was found hiding in the attic of the residence and was taken into custody without incident.
Lillard was recently released from prison in February 2013 after serving 15 months for Burglary 2nd and various other charges. At the time of the arrest, Lillard had outstanding arrest warrants for Assault.
The St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney's Office issued warrants for Receiving Stolen Property and Unlawful Use of Drug Paraphernalia. He is currently being held at St. Charles County Jail of a $5000 bond. This is a continuing investigation and more charges will follow.
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