Franklin County Sheriff's Department

It was a team effort to arrest two men in connection to burglaries and the theft of firearms.

Justin I. Baxter, 19, Union, was charged last week in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with two counts of felony burglary. He is being held on a $25,000 bond.

Authorities also are seeking burglary, stealing, unlawful possession of a firearm and resisting arrest charges against Dustin V. Hayes, 20, Poplar Bluff.

The charges stem from a June 28 burglary in the 6000 block of Highway CC, Leslie, where several firearms were stolen from a home.

The next day, a television was stolen from a residence in the 800 block of Warren Road, Gerald, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.

On June 28, St. Clair Police arrested Hayes following a foot pursuit. He in possession of a firearm stolen in the Leslie burglary.

The sheriff’s office conducted an investigation that led to the stolen television which had been sold.

Sheriff Steve Pelton credits great police work of the Franklin County Detective and the St. Clair Police departments.

“Collaboration between agencies is vital. This is an example of agencies working together for the good of all our citizens,” he said.

Previous Charges

In October 2017, Baxter, formerly from Washington, and another man were charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, felony stealing and property damage for their roles in three county burglaries.

Baxter was arrested in a bank parking lot in New Haven after a “concerned citizen” reported a suspicious vehicle in the area of Highway C south of New Haven, authorities said. The witness said the vehicle had driven slowly through a residential area and the occupants of the vehicle may have been looking for homes to break into.

Authorities recovered a large amount of stolen property inside the vehicle which was linked to three residences in the county. Meanwhile, victims contacted the sheriff’s office to report the burglaries. The burglarized homes are located in Forest Hills Subdivision, Washington; on Bucklick Road, New Haven; and on North Bend Road in Union.

There were three firearms, clothes, jewelry, cash and tools found in the vehicle, according to Pelton.

Last month Baxter was charged with one count of felony second-degree domestic assault stemming from a July 6 arrest by Union police.

Police took a report after a woman said Baxter assaulted her.

The victim told police she was trying to get a ride away from her residence and Baxter took her phone and broke it, according to the probable cause statement filed by Union police with the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.

Baxter allegedly choked her and left marks on her neck and caused her to see spots, punched her in the face and gave her a black eye and kicked her body.

In two separate 2016 incidents Baxter also was charged with second-degree burglary.

Hayes pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary in 2016 for crimes that occurred in Butler County. Initially he was given a five-year suspended imposition of sentence.

His probation was revoked when he was charged with receiving stolen property and property damage.

According to court records, he was given 120 days shock time and suspended execution of sentence probation for violating his initial probation.

Hayes also was charged with resisting arrest in 2017 in Franklin County.