Devin A. Gauer, William D. Vega

Two Union men were charged Wednesday for breaking into a barn and stealing $3,000 in camera equipment and a revolver.

Devin A. Gauer, 22, and William D. Vega, 36, both are charged in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with second-degree burglary, property damage and stealing. Prosecutors requested a $50,000 bond each for their release. Both men are in custody at the Franklin County Jail.

Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton said on May 14 investigators went to a home in the 2900 block of Camp Mo-Val Road near Union for the report of a burglary.

He said the suspects used a crowbar taken from the victim’s barn to pry open a door into the residence. Once inside the men stole approximately $3,000 worth of camera equipment and a Ruger Security-Six .357 revolver.

Deputies located footprints in and around the residence which did not belong to the victim.

Pelton added the deputies followed a path the suspects left to a nearby home on Highway UU. Authorities allege Gauer and Vega put the stolen property in their vehicle parked at the Highway UU residence and left the area in the vehicle.

Later that night, the suspects were apprehended in the First Baptist Church of Union parking lot off Highway 50. Inside the vehicle parked in the church lot was stolen property from the Camp Mo-Val home and property stolen from a storage facility near Washington.

Authorities are contacting storage unit renters to identify recovered property. There could be additional charges, Pelton added.

Previous Charges

Gauer has multiple felony convictions for stealing motor vehicles and other crimes.

Gauer was charged in July 2018 in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with one count of tampering with a motor vehicle, a Class D felony. He is accused of taking a 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada that was parked on the lot of J&L Auto in Union.

In 2018, Gauer was charged with three separate felonies for allegedly stealing motor vehicles in separate incidents from Washington, Sullivan and St. Clair.

Gauer was charged in August 2017 with unlawful use of a weapon, and escape or attempted escape from custody while under arrest for a felony. The charges stem from an incident earlier in 2017 when Union police were called to a home for a possible overdose. Gauer fled from police and returned later to the home to threaten his family with a knife, police said.

Gauer also was charged in February 2017 with first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle.

Under a plea deal entered in January 2019, Gauer was given “shock time” and placed on probation for the 2017 and 2018 charges.