Marionville man linked to multiple thefts throughout the Ozarks

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Mo. Last week we told you about two burglaries at the C.A.R.E. Animal Rescue facility near Aurora where thousands of dollars in equipment was taken.

Jacob Metz/Lawrence County Sheriff's Dept.

Our coverage led to an anonymous tip that has now blown the case wide open.

One phone call was all it took to lead police to an apartment in Marionville. Once they got inside, not only did they find property belonging to the C.A.R.E. Animal Rescue facility but other stolen items that belong to people in several counties.

"A guy saw a news story, knew what matched. There was too much of a coincidence for it not to be their stuff," said Chief Detective, Doug Henry with the Barry County Sheriff's Office.

Anna Yendes with C.A.R.E. said, "We were super surprised that they had tracked it down so quickly. We were not expecting anything to really come of it."

The ordeal is over for the animal rescue.

It's just beginning for investigators.

"There's no Robin Hoods anymore. Nobody's stealing to feed the poor. Everybody's stealing to feed a habit," said Henry.

So far Jacob Metz is the only person connected to the thefts. He's in the Lawrence County Jail on three felony charges of receiving stolen property. He's also been charged for trying to escape when he was arrested. It's early in the investigation and more charges could be filed.

Henry said, "Somebody had to help him. At this point we don't have anybody nailed down, let's put it that way."

Law enforcement raided Metz's apartment Wednesday and found a bounty of stolen property.

"I know we recovered items from Stone County burglaries and thefts and Aurora's burglaries and thefts," explained Henry.

In fact, detectives have linked the stuff stolen in Marionville to cases in Aurora, Branson, Lawrence, Stone and Barry Counties.

"It'll be a process with all agencies looking through their reports to see what may go with what," said Henry.

Investigators are still combing through all the property taken from Metz's apartment. They say it could be weeks until most of their burglary cases are solved.