CHARLACK, MO (KPLR) - A Charlack man went from victim to crime-solver, after he recovered his own stolen belongings. FOX 2’s Rebecca Roberts talked with the man about he tracked them down.
When Toney Martin returned home to the San Rafael apartments, he quickly realized someone had broken in. “I tried to put my key in the door. I couldn’t put it in because they tried to break in with a screwdriver,” he says.
Then, he saw his window was smashed, and called 911. When he went inside, Martin discovered his home had been ransacked. Three TV’s, an Xbox, iPads, video games, DVD’s and a microwave were all gone.
It occurred to the victim that the thieves would probably sell these things. So he started checking pawn shops.
Martin explains, “I went to three on St. Charles Rock Road, went to the one on Lindbergh, went to the one in Jennings.”
Then, at Pawn King on Martin Luther King and Union, he spotted his TV. He immediately told the manager: “I started naming things that were missing, and they were like, oh, we’ve got all that in the back.”
Charlack Police Chief Steve Runge adds, “He contacted us, and we made contact with the pawn shop. The suspect used his real ID when he turned everything in, so that was a lead.”
That suspect was 24 year-old Ricky Anderson. Then, a pawn shop employee described Anderson’s female accomplice. Runge explains, “That’s when the victim realized that was, in fact, his neighbor who broke into his house. The same neighbor that he had given a toy to her child.”
Martin was shocked: “I really couldn’t believe it, because we got along real good, never had problems or anything like that.”
24-year-old Deangela Buckner had been Martin’s next door neighbor for a year. They were friends.
Now, police say she’s admitted to stealing from her neighbor. Anderson, her cousin, also confessed.
The whole situation has left Martin less trusting, especially of friendly neighbors. “You never know who would do something like that,” he says, “because it’s hard to tell who to trust, and who not to trust.”
Martin’s neighbor finally moved out. She and her accomplice are not in custody yet. Both are charged with burglary and stealing over $500.