Snowy footprints lead to burglary arrest in Columbia

2 years 1 month 1 week ago February 19, 2015 Feb 19, 2015 Thursday, February 19 2015 Thursday, February 19, 2015 2:30:00 PM CST in News
By: Nick Hehemann, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Footprints in the snow helped lead to an arrest in Columbia on Wednesday. 

The Boone County Sheriff's Department arrested Brett Russell, a 34-year-old man from Columbia, after he allegedly stole copper from the abandoned "Old Bearfield School" on South Bearfield Road. 

Detective Tom O' Sullivan said deputies tracked him down to an abandoned house close to Father Tolton Catholic High School by following his snow tracks.

"Certainly, we were glad we had the footprints in the snow," O' Sullivan said. "Obviously that doesn't happen every day."

O' Sullivan also credited the canine unit on the scene for playing a large role in the arrest.

The building's caretaker called deputies after he said he saw a man inside one of the vacant buildings of the school holding several pieces of copper tubing. 

The suspect then allegedly ran away on foot after he was seen. 

O' Sullivan said stolen copper from abandoned buildings has been a big problem in Columbia. 

"Frankly, I'm surprised that there's any copper left in any of those buildings," O' Sullivan said. "They've been picked through over the last five years."

O' Sullivan said deputies found a screwdriver and a pipe cutter with the suspect in the abandoned house that would indicate he was removing the copper from the school.

They also found bolt cutters at the school with Russell's initials on them. 

O' Sullivan said deputies also found meth in the suspect's shoes when he was arrested. 

He said the school, that was most recently called "Galaxy School" as part of the Columbia School System, has been the site of several incidents of vandalism. 

"It's really difficult to secure every building on that property," O' Sullivan said. "You can only do so much, and people still find a way to get in there."

Russell is currently in the Boone County Jail, and faces charges of first-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools, first-degree property damage and stealing. 

 

 

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri residents are one step closer to being able to get a driver's license that... More >>
1 hour ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 4:00:00 PM CDT in News
KINLOCH, Mo. (AP) — Police say human remains found last month in the St. Louis suburb of Kinloch are those... More >>
1 hour ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:51:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Emergency Medical Service Association (MEMSA) and the University Hospital collaborated to bring new technologies and medical... More >>
2 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:43:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Despite making up more than half of the American population, women only make up 24.8 percent of... More >>
2 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:32:20 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a bill that would repeal the state's "prevailing wage" law... More >>
2 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:15:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Eric Greitens announced Thursday that Anna Hui will become the new Director of the Department of... More >>
2 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:03:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
SEDALIA - Two Pettis County Ambulance District (PCAD) employees were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of stealing from the organization. ... More >>
3 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 2:34:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House passed a bill overturning a St. Louis ordinance that seeked to protect women... More >>
5 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 12:38:00 PM CDT in News
Updated 3/30 4:00 Two other people, 51-year-old Donald Nussbaum and 56-year-old James McChan, were charged Thursday with allegedly taking... More >>
6 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 11:18:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The president of Lincoln University traveled to the nation's capital Thursday to seek higher funding for higher... More >>
6 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 10:59:00 AM CDT in News
TROY (AP) — An eastern Missouri woman has been ordered to spend 60 days in prison for her role in... More >>
7 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 10:00:00 AM CDT in News
PINEVILLE (AP) — A jury in southwestern Missouri's McDonald County has convicted a man of a lesser felony domestic assault... More >>
7 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 9:54:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A grand jury in Missouri's Cole County has indicted a Jefferson City man in connection with... More >>
8 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 9:45:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Zoo officials said a new $11-million grizzly bear exhibit is expected to open in... More >>
8 hours ago March 30, 2017 Mar 30, 2017 Thursday, March 30 2017 Thursday, March 30, 2017 9:13:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's Republican-led House has squashed an attempt by Democrats to expand Medicaid eligibility. Members... More >>
18 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:25:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Less than a week away from election day, and Columbia City Council candidates are still working to out... More >>
19 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:49:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - People looking for jobs and education opportunities will have the chance to meet employers and educators at... More >>
20 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:31:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prosecutors say a Nigerian citizen living in St. Louis was part of a stolen identity fraud... More >>
23 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 6:35:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
6pm 56°
7pm 55°
8pm 53°
9pm 51°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
Powerless
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist: Redemption
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Riverdale
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld