Arrests made in serial break-ins

After a two-month crime spree from mid-October and into December, one adult male and one of two juvenile males from Hillsboro were caught in the act of breaking into yet another downtown business last week.

Christopher Lieder, 19, and a younger accomplice were both trying to gain entry into Hills?boro Body Shop, 108 E. D St. on Monday, Dec. 8, said Police Chief Dan Kinning.

?We still have more charges pending against Lieder,? Kin?ning said, ?but he has been arrested for last week?s attempted burglary.?

Lieder?s first appearance was Monday, Dec., 15, in Marion County District Court where formal charges were read and bond was set at $7,500.

The juvenile from Hillsboro, Kinning said, is expected to be charged and is now jailed at a detention center.

?They (suspects) weren?t going to stop until they were caught,? Kinning said.

Lieder is alleged to have committed a total of 25 break-ins or attempted break-ins.

One of the juveniles?from outside of Hillsboro?was involved in the first five burglaries and the other juvenile, a Hillsboro resident, with the remaining ones.

Early into the investigation, Kinning said his office was looking at more than one person, that the burglaries were connected and more than likely teenagers were involved.

First burglaries

The first burglary happened Friday, Oct. 17, at La Cabana Restaurant, 117 S. Main.

The next two break-ins were at Molly?s On Main at 104 S. Main and Brenda?s Bloomers and Gifts at 111 W. Grand, with a third attempted crime at Dale?s Supermarket, 108 W. Grand. All occurred Wednesday, Oct. 22.

The burglaries at the restaurant and Molly?s were through a back door, but in the case of Brenda?s shop, entry was through a window.

At Dale?s Supermarket, more than $1,000 damage was done to the skylight and intruders were unable to gain access after attempting to remove a vent in the skylight.

Second rash

While the first four break-ins involved businesses on the west side of Main Street, the next three of four burglaries occurred on the east side with the fourth on Ash Street.

Jost Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning at 128 N. Main, State Farm Insurance at 114 N. Main and Bremyer & Wise Attorneys at Law at 120 N. Main were broken into sometime between Saturday night and Sunday, Nov. 15-16, Kinning said.

The fourth incident at The Lumberyard Inc. happened sometime after 3 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 16. More than $100 in damage was reported and about $135 in cash stolen. In two other burglaries, no money or merchandise was stolen, but buildings were damaged.

Thrills or taunting?

Adding to the eight downtown businesses, seven more stores were hit in the latter part of November: Hillsboro True Value, 125 N. Main; The Lumberyard Inc. for a second time; Trail Lane Bowling, 121 S. Main; and Jess? Tresses, which adjoins the bowling alley in Suite A; The Clayworks Gallery, 417 N. Main; Old Towne Restaurant, 126 N. Main; and A Cut Above, 129 N. Main.

Beyond downtown

Days before Thanksgiving, Rod?s Tire & Service Inc., which is in the retail industrial park, reported that just before midnight damage was done to a window after someone had thrown a rock. The following day, police were called at 7 a.m. to McMinn?s Bicycle Shop in the 200 block of South Cedar.

?Someone had gained entry and taken $100 in cash,? he said.

In less than a week after burglars entered four more businesses, police nabbed Lieder and one of the juveniles.

Six days before catching the two people in the act, Hillsboro Engine Service, 404 Floral Dr.; McMinn Bicycle Service, 204 S. Cedar; Concrete Products Inc., 209 N. Cedar; and Car Quest, 607 N. Ash, were struck.

Although no money or products were reported stolen, the buildings were damaged.

?It?s been many years since we have had a string of break-ins like these,? Kinning said.

Kinning said he attributes the success of catching the alleged burglars to good police work.

?A lot of it was extensive groundwork from this office,? he said.

The next step is putting the information together for the county attorney and filing more charges.

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