Home surveillance video led detectives to those responsible for almost 20 burglaries in Kansas and Missouri, police said Tuesday.
The SUV was spotted by police Tuesday morning. Authorities planned to tow the vehicle in hopes of getting evidence to lead them to the suspects, but as police were waiting nearby for a tow truck, the suspects returned and headed out.
KCTV5 reporter Jeanene Kiesling was there as undercover officers began to follow the vehicle. As officers moved in, police said the suspects started their routine, trying to find their next house to hit.
"They sent someone to the house to knock to see if someone is home," Detective Brian Williams said. "The suspect vehicle parks at the end of the driveway, and when the first suspect determines if the home is unoccupied, they back up to residence, kick in the front door."
One Northland man called police after he saw an SUV back up in his neighbor's driveway and begin removing electronics. Dick Nelson said he called 911.
"It did make everyone pretty scared about what might happen to them," he said.
At one Northland home, the owner was inside and the suspects took off while at least dozens officers maneuvered around them.
Police in undercover cars were watching closely as cars clearly marked police worked to stay out of sight. At one point as the suspects presumably looked for their next target, the vehicle Kiesling was in had to pull behind a house to hide and wait. Once police confirmed the suspects kicked in a door at a home on North Aimes Avenue, it was time for the takedown.
With the helicopter overhead, officers' main concern was public safety. They wanted officers in place with a car chase and without a standoff.
The suspects sped home to a house at 36th and Agnes, but before they could get inside, more than two dozen officers were all over them and took them into custody.
The Platte County Prosecutor's Office charged two of the three suspects on Wednesday. Clifton Fluker and Cardell Scott face burglary charges.
They could be facing more charges as the investigation continues. A search of the suspects' homes found considerable evidence including marijuana, cash, weapons and a treasure trove of stolen goods.
As a result of KCTV5's report, others on both sides of the state line have reported recognizing the silver SUV from their neighborhood where a front door was kicked in and items quickly grabbed by the thieves.
"It's unknown how many houses they cased and attempted to break into or broke into. That we don't know yet," Kansas City police Sgt. Rod Gentry said.
Copyright2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)All rights reserved.
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