Since the beginning of April 2018 the Sheriff's Office has received multiple reports of vehicle break ins and burglaries in and around Canton, Missouri.
On the morning of April 13, 2018 several Lewis County residents contacted the Sheriff's Office to report their personal vehicles had been tampered with and items had been stolen out of them. This included jewelry, credit cards and handguns.
Over the course of the day, Lewis County Deputies developed a suspect who was reported to be in the city of LaGrange. The suspect, who was identified as Austin D. Clark, age 20, of LaGrange, Missouri.
While on the way to Mr. Clark's residence in LaGrange, deputies located him walking on Monroe Street between Fourth and Fifth Street. The deputies made contact with him and after identifying him as the suspect got out of the patrol truck to speak with him.
Clark then ran west on Monroe Street. After running for approximately 30 feet the suspect took a handgun out of his waistband and as he was running shot himself. Deputies contacted emergency responders to the scene and the male suspect was taken to Blessing Hospital.
Upon further investigation two stolen handguns were located at the scene.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control is assisting with the investigation. The LaGrange Police Department is also assisting with the investigation.
On Sunday, April 8, 2018, members of the Lewis County Sheriff's Office and Missouri State Highway Patrol were called to the Benjamin area located in northern Lewis county, for a report of someone shooting at an occupied vehicle. Also, during this incident, the Sheriff's Office had received a report of a burglary occurring in the same area. Upon further investigation, law enforcement learned that James F. McGruder, age 74, of rural Canton, Missouri had fired two rounds into a vehicle occupied by two people who were not involved in the burglaries, but merely listening for turkeys. Mr. McGruder had received a report from a neighbor that her garage had been burglarized and believed he might have been burglarized as well.
Based on this investigation Mr. McGruder was taken into custody for unlawful use of a weapon. He was subsequently charged with one count of unlawful use of a weapon, a class B felony.
He remains lodged in the Lewis County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 cash only bond.
On Sunday, April 8, 2018, the Lewis County Sheriff Office arrested Caleb J. Lovell, age 22, of Canton, Missouri on one count of burglary in the 2nd degree, a class D felony. Members of the Sheriff's Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol were called to the Benjamin area in rural northern Lewis county in relation to reports of an individual stealing from vehicles and breaking into garages. Upon further investigation, law enforcement identified Lovell as a suspect. He was taken into custody for burglary in the 2nd degree.
Lovell remains lodged in the Lewis County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 cash only bond.
The Sheriff's Office and Canton Police Department continue to investigate reports of illegal entry into vehicles and garages in and around Canton. If you have information or concerns please call the police department or Sheriff's office.
The Lewis County Sheriff's Office is seeking the location of Cody L. Chatfield, age 26, of La Grange, Missouri. Chatfield failed to return to jail from a medical furlough and a no bond warrant has been issued for his arrest. Chatfield's last known location was West Quincy, Missouri on the afternoon of April 6, 2018. He apparently fled from a relative while at the Ayerco Convenience Store. Chatfield, a convicted felon, is currently on supervised probation for burglary and possession of a controlled substance. He may be in the Quincy, Illinois area.
Anyone with information of his whereabouts is asked to contact your local law enforcement agency or the Lewis County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office has received numerous complaints/concerns involving Craigslist scams, Sheriff's Benevolent Fund scam, failure to pay taxes and sweepstakes winning scams. Many Lewis County residents have been contacted by phone or email advising they have won a sweepstakes. This is regular, ongoing scam. One resident has received a call that the Sheriff's Office is seeking money for a benevolent fund. The Sheriff's Office is not seeking any funds this way.
Please remember to never give any personal information over the phone or internet from an unsolicited source.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local police department or the Sheriff's Office.
On March 24th, 2018, members of the Lewis County Sheriff's Office were called to a rural Canton, Missouri residence. The victim reported someone had tampered with their vehicle and also entered the occupied home. Upon further investigation, the deputy located David Gensler, age42, of Black Root Falls, WI approximately one eighth of a mile South of the residence. His vehicle was found on the gravel road. Mr. Gensler was found in possession of items that had been taken from the home. He was then arrested for burglary and tampering with a motor vehicle.
Mr. Gensler was formally charged with one count of burglary in the first degree, a class B felony, and two counts of tampering with a motor vehicle 2nd degree, a class A misdemeanor. He remains lodged in the Lewis County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 cash only bond.
The Lewis County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
On March 9, 2018, members of the Lewis County Sheriff's Office arrested Kenneth P. Bringer, age 27, of La Grange, Missouri on one count of abuse or neglect of a child, a class D felony. This arrest was subsequent to an investigation conducted by the Sheriff's Office and the Missouri Children's Division in which he is alleged to have struck a child causing injury.
Mr. Bringer was released after posting a $10,000 bond.
On March 4, 2018, Wendy A. Kent, age 39, of Kirksville, Missouri and Wade J. Rodriguez, age 32, of Kirksville, Missouri were both arrested on one count of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, a class D felony and one count of trafficking in the first degree, a class A felony.
While on routine patrol, a deputy observed a traffic violation committed by Mr. Rodriguez. The vehicle was stopped in Lewistown, Missouri and, after further investigation, two plastic containers were discovered inside the vehicle. Approximately 135 grams of methamphetamine were located in the containers. Several other items of drug paraphernalia were also located.
Kent and Rodriguez remain lodged in the Lewis County Jail in lieu of a $75,000 cash only bond each.
On March 3, 2018, Lewis A. Bradley, age 52, of La Belle, Missouri was arrested on one count of driving while intoxicated, aggravated offender, a class D felony, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, a class D felony.
While on patrol in La Belle, Missouri, a deputy observed a traffic violation committed by Mr. Bradley and, after making contact with Mr. Bradley, he was taken into custody for driving while intoxicated. While conducting this investigation, the deputy also located a loaded .38 caliber handgun in his pocket. Mr. Bradley has several prior DWI arrests.
Mr. Bradley was lodged in the Lewis County Jail in lieu of a $10,000 cash only bond.
On January 15, 2018, members of the Lewis County Sheriff's Office arrested Daniel E. Hartgrave, age 57, of rural La Belle, Missouri. The Sheriff's Office received a call from a medical facility regarding a female who had sustained major injuries from a domestic incident that occurred at a home at 29248 State Highway D, La Belle, Missouri. Upon further investigation, sheriff's deputies learned that Mr. Hartgrave had struck the female with two different objects causing major injuries. He was arrested on one count of assault in the 1st degree, a class A felony.
Mr. Hartgrave remains lodged in the Lewis County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash only bond.