FARMINGTON — A 20-year-old Bonne Terre man faces seven years in prison for burglary, stealing and writing a bad check.
Joe Lowrey pleaded guilty to one count of burglary, one count of stealing and one count of writing a bad check Friday. Circuit Court Judge Kenneth W. Pratte ordered a presentence investigation report compiled by the State Probation and Parole Office and set formal sentencing for June 20.
As part of a plea agreement, 27 counts of writing bad checks stemming from five different cases were dismissed.
According to court records, Lowrey and two other men were arrested following a routine traffic stop in Farmington earlier this year. The officer making the traffic stop noticed several tools in the vehicle and noted some very suspicious behavior. Lowrey and the driver of the vehicle attempted to flee from police.
According to police, the trio had carried out multiple burglaries and burglary attempts in the hours just before the traffic stop. Much of the items reportedly came from a residence and a church in the Doe Run area.
Lowrey also was caught shoplifting a camcorder on another date which brought about the charge of stealing.
In an unrelated case, a Bonne Terre teen could spend as many as seven years in prison for stealing ATVs from two different residences.
Robert House Jr. pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing Friday. Judge Pratte ordered a presentence investigation report and set formal sentencing for June 20. He faces a maximum of seven years in prison.
According to court records, House participated in the theft of two ATVs.
ATV tracks led sheriff’s department investigators to one of the stolen ATVs. An investigator followed the tracks from a residence to a mine tailing pile just south of the residence where he found House and another individual on ATVs. The investigator pursued them in his patrol unit they went into a wooded area inaccessible to vehicles.
The investigator then went back to the residence where he found fresh footprints that lead to the ATV with the key in the ignition.
While officers were investigating the other theft, they saw three people pulling a stolen trailer through an open field.
When the individuals saw the officers, two of them took off on foot while the third drove to his residence and refused to answer the door.
Officers observed the stolen ATV in plain view in a shed at the residence. House and another individual were caught fleeing from the house and House later admitted he took the ATV.
In an unrelated case, another Bonne Terre teen was sentenced to a year in the county jail for stealing a vehicle.
James Thomas pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with a motor vehicle Friday. He waived his right to a presentence investigation report and was sentenced to a year in jail. As part of a plea agreement, one count of stealing was dismissed.
According to court records, Thomas took off in a vehicle after he noticed the key was in the ignition and the doors were unlocked. The vehicle was later recovered by the Farmington Police Department.
In another case, a 20-year-old St. Francois County woman was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison for forgery and tampering with a vehicle.
Judge Pratte sentenced Stephanie Hook to 12 years but will reconsider giving her probation after she completes a 120 day drug treatment program.
Hook’s sentencing date had originally been set for March 21 but actual sentencing was held off because a bed space in a drug treatment program was not available at that time.
At that time, her public defender pointed out she is a working mom and has been attending meetings for alcohol and drug abuse.
“She has changed her life,” her public defender said.
Prosecutors, however, argued she went on a huge crime spree to buy drugs and they saw no evidence that she was seeking treatment.
On Friday, the judge advised Hook they were going “out on a limb” for her and she really needed to take advantage of it.
In another case, a 19-year-old Farmington man faces five years in prison for helping another individual steal a stereo from a car.
Ephrum Hovis pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with a motor vehicle Friday. Judge Pratte ordered a presentence investigation report and set formal sentencing for June 20. He faces a maximum of five years in prison.
In another case, a 20-year Farmington man received five years of supervised probation for stealing from a daycare.
Cantrell had pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree burglary earlier this year. Judge Pratte suspended the execution of a seven-year sentence Friday.
According to court records, Cantrell broke into a daycare through a window and stole a VCR, a Sega, 17 games and a stereo.
Farmington police found a shoe print in the mud and another footprint on a picnic table that was against the building. They also found latex fingerprints on the window that were identified as Cantrell’s prints.