Footprints in snow lead police to Beecher burglary suspects

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Arthur D. Mendez and Dalton L. Sparks | Will County sheriff’s office

Two burglary suspects were arrested early Monday after police followed footprints in the snow to find them hiding in a field in south suburban Beecher.

Will County sheriff’s deputies were called about a burglary on Partridge Lane in Beecher at 4:25 a.m., the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

A snow plow driver told the deputies he had seen someone get out of a Pontiac Grand Prix and run north into the Pheasant Lake Estates development while he was plowing snow on Goodenow Road, the sheriff’s office said. He also saw footprints along the rear property lines of homes on Cardinal Drive and a pile of tools in the snow on the side of the road.

Deputies followed footprints in the area and found 23-year-old Dalton L. Sparks and 19-year-old Arthur D. Mendez hiding in the brush in a field east of Partridge, the sheriff’s office said. When the men realized they’d been spotted, they turned themselves in.

Police canvassed the area where the footprints were found and filed two burglary reports in the 100 block of Partridge and seven more in the 100 block of Cardinal, the sheriff’s office said. The suspects are accused of taking several drills and saws, a GPS, an electric screwdriver, a jewelry box, fishing poles and a hunting bow from unlocked garages and vehicles in the area.

Sparks, of the 900 block of Arlington Lane in Crete, and Mendez, of the 5100 block of 147th Street in Midlothian, were charged with nine counts each of burglary and possession of stolen property, the sheriff’s office said. Mendez was also charged with a count of unlawful use of a weapon (brass knuckles). They were both ordered held on a $75,000 bond.

Most of the stolen items were recovered in multiple locations throughout the neighborhood and returned to their respective owners, the sheriff’s office said.

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