Police say boot prints and stolen goods led them to construction site thief

Police say fresh boot prints helped them connect one man thefts from four construction sites in Davenport’s Prairie Heights housing addition.

Someone reported a suspicious person driving a blue 2001 Chevy pickup truck in the Prairie Heights addition Monday evening, April 14, 2014.  A witness reported seeing a man park the truck in front of four different addresses in Prairie Heights, and the man went into each of the homes where he parked.

Police said they found fresh boot prints in the garages of two of the burglarized homes.

At about 10:45 p.m., police stopped a blue pickup truck with construction materials in the bed a few blocks from the burglarized homes.  Officers found new copper pipes in the truck bed, along with brand new siding with one of the victim addresses written on the box.

David Allen Ponce, 46, of East Moline, Illinois, was arrested and charged with four felony counts of third-degree burglary plus misdemeanor counts of possession of burglary tools, possession of a controlled substance and unlawful prescription use.

“If you leave anything laying outside, you have to worry if it’s still there when you get back,” said Mike Drew, who was working at a construction site near one of the houses that was burglarized.

Drew says stealing from work sites is common.  He said the stolen items are often pawned or sold to friends, and that one box of siding can bring $200 to $500.

Just a few months ago, another house in the Prairie Heights housing addition was burglarized.

“People had come in and stripped all the electrical wire out before it had been dry walled,” Drew said.

Ponce was held in the Scott County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash-only bond.



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