22-year-old man confesses to stealing from cars in Helena - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

22-year-old man confesses to stealing from cars in Helena

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Justin Lee Burkart Justin Lee Burkart
Home surveillence photo of Burkart released to the media. Home surveillence photo of Burkart released to the media.

The Helena Police Department have arrested and charged Justin Lee Burkart, 22, with 10 counts of Unlawful Breaking and Entering a Vehicle.

On the morning of March 14, 2013, Burkart went through the Fieldstone subdivision, Jackson Square subdivision, Ashley Brook subdivision, and Brandywine subdivision and began removing property from unlocked vehicles.  A local resident was able to get a picture of a white male suspect from a home surveillance camera and provided it to police for dissemination.

The photo was then placed on the Helena Police Department Facebook page and shown by local news media.

Within hours, officers were receiving several tips that indicated Burkart was involved. Officers located Burkart at his place of employment and took him into custody.

Burkart had attempted to change his appearance by cutting his hair after seeing himself on the local news and on Facebook.

Burkart was transported to the Helena Police Department where he gave a full confession. Burkart also led officers to several locations in Shelby and Jefferson County where the stolen items were located.

Burkart stated that because his photo was released by Helena Police Department and local media within hours of the crime being committed, he was unable to sell or destroy the property for fear of being apprehended.

Burkart's confession also led Officers to another subject who was suspected of damaging several yards in the Fieldstone subdivision.

Helena Police are currently working with the victims where the damage occurred, to see that those cases reach a successful resolution.

Burkart was transported to Shelby County Jail where he is being held on $50,000 bond.

The Helena Police would like to thank the public for their assistance on these cases. We feel that the public's assistance was instrumental in the apprehension of Burkart.

"Once again, this case highlights the importance of locking vehicles and not leaving valuables within plain sight, inside the vehicle."  Detective C. Rollan said.

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