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Sleeping Maroa man found next to stolen Illinois State Police rifle, police say

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MAROA — Illinois State Police investigators said they surprised a Maroa man in his bedroom and found him sleeping next to an AR-15 rifle stolen from a trooper’s squad car.

And police said they also recovered a handgun from nearby the sleeping man that also proved to have been stolen. A sworn affidavit did not state where the handgun had been stolen from.

Authorities said the 19-year-old suspect was arrested at noon Friday at his apartment in the 100 block of West Madison Street. That was the same day that State Police Investigator Dustin Hoffmeier said he was called in to help the Maroa Police Department in their investigation of the rifle theft from the unnamed trooper’s squad car.

“When entering the bedroom, where (the man) was present asleep, there was a handgun sitting next to the bed along with two rifle cases next to it,” said Hoffmeier in the affidavit. “It was determined that the Glock firearm (handgun) ... was a stolen firearm.”

Hoffmeier said the trooper’s weapon turned out to be sealed inside one of the rifle cases, which was searched after police later obtained a warrant.

The affidavit did not explain how the burglary to the squad car happened but said the man was identified as a suspect during a neighborhood canvass.

Police had arrived at the man’s apartment where Hoffmeier said a juvenile male answered the door. Hoffmeier said police became concerned when they noticed another juvenile male asleep on the apartment floor who was “not responding to commands and breathing heavily.”

Here are tips to prevent your home from being broken into. Remember, if you observe a suspicious person or behavior, call 911.

Hoffmeier said that prompted police to go inside to check the boy’s welfare and, while in the apartment, they conducted a “protective sweep” of the home and that is when they found the sleeping man and the stolen weapons.

The man was booked on a preliminary charge of possession of a stolen firearm and a check of Macon County Jail records Monday showed he was free after posting a $20,000 bond on bail set at $200,000.

All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office.


Mug shots from the Herald & Review 

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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Lewis entered not guilty pleas on one charge of attempted murder and another charge of aggravated discharge of a firearm at a peace officer. He also denied further charges of being an armed habitual criminal, being a felon in possession of a weapon and vehicle theft.

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