Teen confesses after stakeout Thurs night
A strange series of 17 burglaries, prowler and "peeping tom" reports in a local neighborhood has been solved with a Storm Lake teenager's arrest Friday morning, according to police.
On Thursday, police had circulated an artist's drawing of an Asian male suspect described by witnesses of the crimes, which string back to November of 2001 in an area between West Fifth Street and West Milwaukee, from Barton Street to Angier.
Often, the burglaries involved a subject entering an unlocked home while it was occupied, and making off on foot with cash, purses and other items. In at least one case, the subject reportedly touched a sleeping individual and woke him before fleeing a home.
Storm Lake has deployed officers on surveillance a number of times in connection with the investigation but they were unable to locate the suspect. A Surveillance Team made up of Storm Lake Police officers and an Iowa DCI agent were deployed in the target area Thursday night and concentrated on a particular portion of the residential based on mapping techniques that identified the area that was likely to be hit again by the suspect.
At 12:30 a.m. Friday, surveillance officers observed a male running through the area, and followed the suspect to 816 Hyland Drive, a residence officers had already noted in the investigation. Police watched through the night and at 5 a.m. Friday contacted a 17-year-old male inside. After questioning at the police station, the teenager confessed to being involved in the burglaries and other suspicious activities.
Police also conducted consent searches of residences located at 816 Hyland Drive and 724 Cayuga Street. Police seized footwear and clothing from those locations.
Chanthachone "Bom" Satibanchong, age 17 of Storm Lake, was arrested and charged with five counts of burglary 2nd Degree (class C felony) and four counts of Criminal Trespass (simple misdemeanor).
Satibanchong was transported to the Youth Detention Facility in Cherokee pending a court appearance.
The most recent incidents reported in the burglary spree are as follows: On Friday, June 7, 2002 at approximately 11:11 a subject was observed prowling near homes and looking into windows of residences in the 1300 block of Lochedem Drive and the 800 block of Colonial Circle. In this incident the suspect was pursued by two homeowners in the area on foot but they lost sight of the man near the 800 block of Hyland Drive. Police officers from the Storm Lake Police Department and Buena Vista County Sheriff's Department along with the Storm Lake Police K9 Unit searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect.
The suspect was described as an Asian male, slender build, medium height with gray or light colored pants, a yellow polo type shirt and short dark hair.
On Sunday, June 9, 2002 at approximately 10:29 p.m. a resident at 721 Hyland Drive reported a possible prowler outside of her home. She reported hearing a suspicious noise outside of her residence that sounded like someone was pounding on the side of her house. Police again searched the area but found nothing.
On the morning of Thursday, June 13, 2002 Storm Lake Police took a report of a possible intruder in a residence at 813 Northwestern Drive that occurred on Monday, June 10, 2002 between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
The owner of the residence found a door that had been closed and locked while they were working in the yard to be standing open. There were two children sleeping in the home. Nothing was missing from the residence and no suspect was observed.
Also on the morning of Thursday, June 13, 2002 at approximately 5:00 a.m. the Police Department was dispatched to 713 Hyland Drive in reference to a burglary that had just occurred. Upon arrival police met with the victim who advised that he had just been awakened by an intruder in his bedroom. The victim stated the intruder grabbed his leg, which woke him up, and the man then fled out of his residence through a north door and then west through the back yards. The victim further advised that the subject might have been in his home also the day before as he was missing some money the day before but thought that he'd misplaced it. The suspect entered through an unlocked door.
Police checked the area on foot and with a K9 Unit but were unable to locate the suspect.
The suspect was described as a younger looking Asian male, with a slender build, height approximately 5'6" with dark hair that was short on the sides and a little longer on the top. The subject was wearing a green and black sweater with gray sweat pants.
The victim was able to provide Police with a composite drawing of the suspect. It was released to the media, along with a warning for citizens to lock their homes when away or going to bed at night.