A Barry County teen has been arrested in connection with at least 15 car break-ins that occurred over the weekend.
Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly said John C. Plopper, 17, of Butterfield, was arrested Saturday night in the Butterfield area.
"He just went out on his own and broke into these vehicles," said Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly. "He is facing multiple charges of vehicle tampering and property damage."
Authorities believe Plopper attempted to steal several of the vehicles on Saturday night due to evidence of damage on the steering columns. He was not successful in those efforts.
Epperly said many of the victims will have to pay for vehicle repairs out of pocket because of the high cost of insurance deductibles.
"It's going to be a hassle for many of them," Epperly said.
Authorities believe Plopper is part of a group of criminals that have stolen, vandalized and burned approximately 50 cars in Barry and Lawrence counties.
Plopper's older brother, Timothy Plopper, 22, and a Galena man, Kyle Filbeck, 19, were arrested within a day of each other, on Jan. 19 and Jan. 18 respectively, in Stone County for similar crimes. Authorities there received a tip through the Barry-Lawrence Chapter of Crime Stoppers. Both Timothy Plopper and Filbeck remain in custody at the Barry County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash-only bond.
At 17, John Plopper will be tried as an adult for his crimes. He is in custody at the Barry County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 cash-only bond.