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Four charged in burglary

PRINCETON — Four Kewanee residents have been charged in a recent burglary of the former Tiskilwa High School building.

On Wednesday, Bureau County Sheriff John Thompson issued a press release stating Lt. Randy Hasbrook and Investigator Gary Becket, with the sheriff’s department, had concluded their investigation into the recent burglary at the former Tiskilwa High School building, now owned by James Shafer of rural Princeton.  Arrested were Matthew L. Songer, 27, Ricky A. Dennison, 55, John A. Reining, 27, and Katy M. Lucas, 18, all of Kewanee.

Thompson said the burglary was reported May 16 after which Shafer reported a loss of personal, commercial and industrial property valued in excess of $20,000.

With the help of a Henry County and Bureau/Putnam Counties Crimestoppers tip, the Bureau County Sheriff’s investigators were guided to multiple victims who had unknowingly bought the stolen property through various outlets, Thompson said. As a result, a large amount of the stolen items were recovered and are currently being held as evidence pending prosecution. 

As a result of their investigation, Hasbrook and Becket developed sufficient evidence to present the case to Bureau County State’s Attorney Patrick Herrmann, who requested arrest warrants be issued for the Kewanee persons, Thompson said.

With the assistance of the LaSalle Police Department, Songer was taken into custody in LaSalle and is currently in custody at the LaSalle County Jail on unrelated charges. Following his disposition in LaSalle County, Songer will be transferred to the Bureau County Jail on the Tiskilwa burglary charge.

Dennison, who is charged with felony theft, and Reining, who is charged with felony burglary, are currently housed in the Bureau County Jail, in lieu of $10,000 bail and $15,000 bail, respectively. Lucas, who is also charged with felony theft, has posted 10 percent of her $7,500 bond and was released from custody.

Thompson said additional arrests are expected from this in-depth criminal investigation. He  commended the officers participating in and supporting this investigation. 

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