EDWARDSVILLE, IL - A former Edwardsville police officer responsible for a 15-year long string of burglaries will spend 40 years in prison.
Brian Barker, 43-years-old, was arrested in December of 2014 after over a decade long string of burglaries of business and homes, including his next-door neighbor.
Barker was caught when a salon owner, who had been burglarized multiple times, installed a security camera and saw Barker stealing from the cash register in his police uniform.
The Madison County States Attorney Tom Gibbons said when officers searched Barker’s basement it was like a super center of stolen goods.
“He would steal these things save them categorize them, keep in boxes and had walls and walls full of shelves thousands of items probably as many as five thousand stolen items recovered,” said Gibbons.
He said they don’t really know the total number of burglaries Barker committed, it could be in the hundreds. Gibbons said before Barkers arrest there were about 24 burglaries a year in Edwardsville, and since his arrest there have been about six per year.
Gibbons said investigators recovered so many stolen items they had to rent a storage unit to sort thought it all. “It is unprecedented, we have never seen anything to that extent and it goes to show you the extent of his crime spree and how long it went on and how deep it was.”
Gibbons said for him a disturbing part of this case was that Barker would burglarize a business and then be on duty the next day investigating the case. He said that really shook the foundation of the community, but hopefully getting the maximum sentence restores some of that confidence in the citizens.