Trio busted for month-long burglary spree in Lincoln County

LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. - Two teenagers and a 20-year-old man were arrested and charged in connection with a month-long home burglary spree across Lincoln County.

According to Lincoln County Sheriff John Cottle, more than a dozen home burglaries and property thefts took place throughout December 2018. The burglars took guns, money, rare coins, jewelry, archery equipment, ammunition, and Christmas presents. In some cases, the burglars caused serious damaged the interior of some of the homes.

Witnesses told investigators they observed a silver minivan occupied by an African-American man and two Caucasian men in the area of the burglaries.

On January 3, 2019, a vehicle matching that description and a Mercury Mountaineer were forced to stop behind a deputy's patrol car because the road was partially blocked.

Sheriff Cottle said deputies noticed the minivan and approached the vehicle. As they did, they saw the driver stuff jewelry into his jacket pockets. When asked about the jewelry, the driver could not explain where it came from. Deputies took the driver, identified as Delano Coleman, into custody. They also took the took occupants of the Mercury into custody. They were identified as Matthew Stephens and Kody Kneib.

The three suspects matched witness descriptions of the burglars, Cottle said.

Kneib told investigators that he, Coleman, and Stephens committed several burglaries across the county for weeks. Stephens admitted to participating in the burglaries as well. Coleman denied any involvement in the crimes.

Coleman, Kneib, and Stephens were each charged Friday with three counts of felony burglary and three counts of stealing a firearm. Coleman and Kneib were jailed on $20,000 bond apiece, while Stephens' bond was set at $50,000.

Authorities expect additional charges will be filed as the investigation progresses.

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