MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WAND) – The theft of thousands of dollars in tools led to three arrests in Macon County, deputies say.
Law enforcement began tracking burglaries happening around the county starting in late March. Witnesses told deputies they watched a white Ford van moving around to different houses.
Deputies say the first theft report happened on March 21, when they were called to a house along Gosnell Road in Dalton City. A property owner said they returned that day to find several firearms, a John Deere riding lawn mower, jewelry, tools and other items stolen. They said the overhead garage door and north door on the property were open and a basement window was damaged. In total, the stolen items were valued at $8,245.
A second theft attempt came after midnight on March 23, deputies say, in the 500 block of Macon’s Crosson Road. A local resident told deputies they watched the van approach before a person in a blue hoodie stepped out of the van and tried to open the door of his locked shed, then drove away when they heard a dog barking.
In other burglaries, deputies say someone stole over $1,600 in value of tools from a machine shed along Macon’s Cornthwaite Road, along with over $1,400 in tools from a shed that belongs to ADM Grain in Niantic. According to sworn statements, security video from after 4 a.m. on April 5 showed two people coming out of a white full-size Ford van at the Niantic scene and committing the burglary.
Deputies tracked down the suspected vehicle in an April 6 traffic stop. They arrested driver Timothy Bradley, 35, who was accused of driving with a revoked license, and let passenger Lawrence Reed, 36, go without charges at that time. At the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, deputies say they listened to Bradley’s inmate phone calls and heard him talking to a woman about selling tools in the van to “raise money”. According to sworn statements, the woman told Bradley he had to “hustle” so someone could be paid off.
Deputies say they went to look at the van after it was towed from the traffic stop and noticed it was missing a radius arm retainer similar to one they found at the Gosnell Road scene. They say the van’s tires also matched pictures of tire impressions they had found at that same scene.
More surveillance on the van started after it was released from the towing company, with law enforcement tracking its path. They say the van stopped Wednesday at a Norfolk Road address in Oakley before miscellaneous tools were taken, then went to an Illini Road address before going to and leaving a home in the 3500 block of E. Greenhill Road in Decatur. An eventual traffic stop led to the arrest of Reed, who statements say admitted to committing burglaries with Timothy Bradley that evening.
Deputies say the Greenhill Road house was Bradley’s residence. They served a search warrant at the home, according to statements, and found Timothy Bradley with April Bradley, 29, and three children. The suspects are accused of having stolen property in the house and in an unattached garage, along with a small bag of meth and meth glass smoking pipes.
Timothy Bradley and Reed are each charged with multiple counts of burglary, one count of residential burglary and criminal damage to property. April Bradley faces counts of possession of stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia. Timothy Bradley’s bond is $75,000, while Reed’s bond is $50,000 and April Bradley’s is set at $10,000.
Sworn statements say deputies got a call Wednesday about another burglary at an outbuilding in the 4800 block of Jordan Road in Oreana. They say Timothy Bradley admitted to committing that crime with Reed.