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Man Steals From Vacant Homes to Pay for Heroin Addiction, Police Say

Two High Ridge men are being charged with second-degree burglary in connection to multiple High Ridge incidents.

Two High Ridge men have been charged in connection with multiple home burglaries.

Matthew Ehlen, 18, of the 5600 block of Circle Drive, and David Howard, 22, of the 3100 block of Carlton Drive, have been charged with second-degree burglary. 

According to court documents, the burglaries occurred in five High Ridge locations: in the 2500 block of Woburn Drive; 2500 block of Somerville Road; 2800 block of Williams Creek Road; 3300 block of Walnut Ridge; and 6000 block of Antire Road. They happened between September 2012 and Jan. 19, 2013, according to court documents. 

The suspects also admitted to stealing from about 20 total houses, according to documents.

In court documents, Jefferson County police stated that Howard admitted to acting with Ehlen to steal copper pipes and HVAC equipment from vacant homes. They then sold everything, stated Howard, who said he has a heroin addiction, according to court documents.  

Second-degree burglary is a class C felony and carries with it a punishment of up to one year in jail or one to 7 years in a state prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine. 

Charges and allegations mentioned in this report do not indicate convictions.

For more crime information on Fenton-High Ridge Patch, please see the following articles:

  • Dumpster Divers Nabbed Behind Value Village
  • Man Charged in Connection With Fenton Business Debit Card Theft
Patrick Crowley February 23, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Correction to Second Paragraph, last sentence: is "They happened between September 2013 and Jan. 19, 2013, according to court documents." Should read "They happened between September 2012 and Jan. 19, 2013, according to court documents."
Doris Borgelt February 26, 2013 at 11:29 AM
I believe an appropriate punishment should be they must physically clean the messes that they made themselves, pay for the materials, assist in the repairs and have to face the people they committed these crimes against and report their progress to them on a regular basis. Whatever business they sold the copper to should be on the hook also! These boys/men need to be held accountable and so do those who enabled their crime spree. They got themselves into this mess, they have to be man enough to get themselves out. Making them responsible for their actions may turn their whole life around.
Ryan Martin February 27, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Thank you for noting that, Patrick. The article has been corrected to note that this occurred between Sept. 2012 and Jan. 2013.

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