BETHALTO - A suspect has been charged in a series of car wash incidents and more in Bethalto.
Troy R. Webber, 43, listed as a homeless man in the St. Louis region, was charged in Madison County Circuit Court today with felony charges of Theft Over $500.00, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, Possession of a Firearm with a Removed Serial Number, and Offenses Relating to Motor Vehicles.
Officials said the arrest is the culmination of an investigation conducted by the Bethalto Police Department that started with an initial theft attempt from the Baywash Car Wash in February of 2021. In that incident an unknown subject attempted to break into one of the coin-op machines at the car wash. The subject was unable to make entry to the machine but damaged it in the attempt. A Bethalto investigator worked to identify the subject as Troy Webber and obtained a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest.
At 2:55 a.m on April 19, 2021, a subject driving a Budget Rental Truck broke into a coin-op machine at the Wash N Go car wash in Bethalto, stealing more than $500. Information had been developed in the days prior to this incident of similar acts having taken place in the bistate region.
On April 21, 2021, Granite City Police Officer’s stopped Webber in a Budget Rental Truck and arrested him on the original misdemeanor warrant issued in the February 2021 incident. A Bethalto Investigator responded to the scene, took custody of Webber and obtained a search warrant for the Budget Truck. The search resulted in the seizure of evidence associated with April 19, 2021, Wash N Go theft in Bethalto.
Additional evidence was also seized from the truck to include a firearm that had its serial number removed. The Budget Truck was reported stolen to the Bethalto Investigator by company officials.
Bethalto investigators will be working with police officials throughout the region in the coming days to see if evidence seized in this investigation is linked to others. Similar cases have been reported as far west as Hannibal, Mo.
"I’d like to personally and publicly commend the Bethalto investigator who headed up this investigation for his outstanding efforts," Bethalto Police Chief Dixon said. "Great work sergeant!"
Webber is currently in the custody of the Madison County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond that was set by the Honorable Judge Ronald Slemer.
It is important to remember that the issuance of criminal charges are based upon probable cause, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.