A Seligman, Mo. man was arrested last week in connection with a string of burglaries in Holiday Island, and police say it was a game camera that made the arrest possible.
Kenneth W. Sharp, 53, was arrested on March 2, on eight counts of residential burglary and one count each of theft and first degree criminal mischief.
Sgt. Daniel Klatt said a single home, located at 217 Stateline Dr., had been burglarized at least 8 separate times since Feb. 1. Each time, a game camera mounted outside the residence captured pictures of the burglar loading a white pickup truck full of furniture and appliances.
The owner of the home lives in Florida. However, caretaker Rickey German called police on Feb. 23 to report that an air conditioning unit, copper tubing, and several other items had gone missing.
German later told Deputy Chris Jones that Bartman had mounted cameras around the property. By examining photos from one of these cameras, Klatt was able to decipher the license plate on the burglar's truck, which led him to Debbie Oplinger, Sharp's girlfriend.
Klatt also obtained several high-quality images of the suspect, which he later showed to Det. Angela Cole, of the Barry County Sheriff's Office, and Jill McCallie, Sharp's parole officer. Both women identified the pictured man as Sharp.
Klatt said police had arrested Sharp last week at a home in Seligman, where he was found hiding in the back room, sitting in one of the stolen chairs. Klatt said the chair and several other recovered items would be returned to their owner.
Police have said more arrests are possible in the case. Some of the photos captured by the camera depict a second burglar, Klatt said. He added that police suspect Sharp may have been involved in other burglaries in Holiday Island in recent weeks, though they don't yet have enough evidence to pursue charges.
Klatt said the photographs had been essential in making the arrest and encouraged other home owners, especially those who are often absent or have a lot of scrap lying around, to install their own cameras.
"We can't be everywhere at once," he said. "... They make a huge difference in actually sorting some of these burglaries out."
Sharp is scheduled to be arraigned on Apr. 8. He is currently being held at the Carroll County Detention Center on $50,000 bond.