Police say footprints in the snow helped them solve a recent rash of business burglaries in Liberty.
Officers used the tracks and video surveillance to arrest 19-year-old Zackary S. Jackson.
The Liberty Disaster Relief, a thrift store and food pantry, is one of seven businesses that recently had to replace a smashed door or window.
"You never know when you wake up in the morning what your day is going to be like," said Doug Perry, the director of Liberty Disaster Relief.
Perry used his cell phone to capture the moment he found that someone smashed their way into his store. Repairing the door cost several hundred dollars.
The thrift store helps fund a homeless shelter and a food pantry that feeds 2,000-3,000 people a month.
"We are a little ministry trying as hard as we can to serve a lot of people. So even a few hundred dollars affects our budget and kind of hurts a little bit," Perry said.
The burglar left behind the rock used to enter the store and much more.
"Probably the first reaction I had when I got here was, 'he left footprints all over the place,'" Perry said.
Police said they followed footprints in the snow to Jackson's mother's house.
"When we do see footprints leading away from a crime scene, we are going to follow those. Sometimes they have lead us to the identification of suspects," Capt. Andy Hedrick said.
According to court records, Jackson's mother eventually told police she recognized her son in surveillance video from another burglary at the Northstar Garden Center.
After his arrest, Jackson admitted to breaking into the garden center, the Personal Touch engraving shop twice, as well as a home off Shepherd Road and the Liberty Disaster Relief, court records state.
"I think people need to be held responsible. I'm glad that they caught him, and he'll hopefully get his head on right and grow up to be something," Perry said.
According to court documents, Jackson tried to run from police when they pulled over a car that he was riding in.
Once in custody, police say he admitted to five burglaries in Liberty and another burglary in the Kansas City area.
Kansas City police are investigating that burglary.
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Thursday, August 28 2014 9:44 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:44:10 GMT
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