Multiple new charges have been filed against a Dittmer man whose theft and burglary spree spanned several jurisdictions in the area.
Steven Stotts Jr., 35, was charged Wednesday, Sept. 20, in Jefferson County with 11 new felonies, including four tampering with a motor vehicle, five stealing and two burglary. Those charges are in addition to stealing a motor vehicle and second-degree burglary charges filed Aug. 22 in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court.
Authorities suspect Stotts was feeding a drug habit while committing a rash of burglaries and vehicle thefts from July through September in Franklin and Jefferson counties, primarily along the Highway 30 corridor.
In total he is charged with 16 felonies in the two counties during the three-month spree.
Stotts is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond.
Detectives with the Franklin County Sheriff’s office have wrapped up their investigation and presented the findings to Franklin County Prosecutor Bob Parks’ office.
Parks said Stotts will likely stay in custody in Jefferson County for his current charges.
“We have our case on hold,” he said. “We will see what happens there and then see what we want to do — they’re getting the first shot.
“After they’re finished, then we’ll get our shot.”
Since early August, Stotts allegedly stole more than $200,000 worth of vehicles, firearms and other property.
He was arrested Sept. 7 near Highway 30 and Dittmer Road about 5 miles east of the Franklin County line.
Stotts is wanted in Franklin County for a crime spree that included the theft of multiple utility vehicles from Jim Trenary Motor Sports, Washington, two Humvees from the Labadie area and the burglary of storage units and residences along Highway 30.
Stotts has been connected to at least nine cases through August, according to investigators with the Franklin County Sheriff’s office, including two thefts from Jim Trenary Motor Sports, Washington, and Triple H Storage in the Lonedell area.
In some of the cases, Stotts drove stolen four-wheel utility vehicles to other burglary scenes.
Stotts was apprehended Tuesday, Aug. 22, for the theft of an aluminum trailer and seven side-by-side utility task vehicles (UTVs) from Jim Trenary Motor Sports Aug. 11. The UTVs range in value of up to $19,000.
The suspect also stole a motorcycle from the Washington business Aug. 3.
Stotts confessed to the vehicle thefts, as well as the burglary of Triple H Storage Aug. 8.
Detectives determined Stotts cut a hole in the fence to the Triple H Self Storage on Highway 30, east of Highway FF, and then cut the locks to 24 units. Reported missing were 22 guns, 10 flat screen TVs, tools, clothing and medication.
Twenty of the guns and many other items were recovered.
Stotts also was arrested Aug. 13 during a burglary at Hoffmann’s Towing where St. Clair police were notified after he tripped an alarm. He was in possession of a ring of 17 keys to stolen vehicles. St. Clair police recovered a four-wheeler, truck radiator, light bar, bag of tools and a hedge trimmer, all allegedly stolen from the I-44 Truck Center earlier that night.