By Steve Rensberry, Editor
Every time I hear about a burglary suspect getting nabbed I wonder if it could possibly be the burglary suspect that decided to break down my house a little over a year ago and make off with a few things that didn’t belong to him or her, but alas the unscrupulous schmuck still has yet to return my broken TV and old guitar. It was a wake up call. Officers and detectives with the Troy Police Department, working with other area agencies, do deserve some kudos this week though for arresting three suspects in a serious of storage shed burglaries.
It’s a good example of not just how people and groups working together are more effective than many people working independently, but of how relatively small things can lead to big things. Following the issuance of subpoenas and search warrants, what became a storage shed burglary case soon became a case of gunrunning (gun trafficking). All three suspects, Joseph Rogers, Parker Lewis, and Luzia Heise are now in the Madison County Jail facing charges of gunrunning, burglary, and illegal firearm possession.
A bit of research tells just the charge of gunrunning is not just rare but can be difficult to prosecute, at least in Illinois. A 2017 from ProPublica Illinois cites a hodgepodge of restrictions from state to state, and the challenge of determining a gun’s ownership history even when the police know that it has changed hands unlawfully. “It adds up to what some officials describe as a kind of law enforcement version of whack-a-mole: Police and prosecutors spend significant resources targeting people caught possessing illegal guns — who are usually at the end of a lengthy chain of ownership — with little hope of thwarting the illicit gun markets,” the article states.
The fact that it is such a difficult crime to prosecute makes the local case that much more remarkable.