$15,000 Reward Hopes to Bring Closure to Unsolved Murder

Tuesday September 9, 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the unsolved murder of 16-year-old Mary Ann Becker of Atkinson, IL. Henry County Crime Stoppers is today announcMary Ann Beckering a new reward of $15,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. This is in addition to the normal reward offered by Crime Stoppers of up to $1000 for information leading to an arrest. Despite all law enforcement efforts, including a multi-agency task force formed at the time it happened, this case remains unsolved.

Mary Ann Becker was found dead inside her home on the evening of Monday, September 9, 1974. The crime stunned the quiet town of Atkinson, IL. Mary Ann Becker, who was described as a shy, quiet, and intelligent high school honors student, was buried on Thursday, Sept 12, 1974.

The Illinois State Police, in cooperation with several local and county agencies, is actively investigating Mary Ann’s murder, and anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Henry County Crime Stoppers at 800-227-2324. All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential. Information on this case can also be viewed on the Illinois State Police website available at http://www.isp.state.il.us under “Crime – Unsolved Crimes.” Mary Ann Becker is the oldest case, listed at the bottom of the page.

Attention News Outlets: please contact the Illinois State Police, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, or the Atkinson Police Department for further comment on this story. Crime Stoppers has no further information on this case beyond what is provided above.

Unsolved Burglary in Rural Colona

Authorities are asking for the public’s help in solving a burglary that occurred in rural Colona, IL sometime between the evening of Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1, 2014.

Entry was made to the outbuilding of a property in the Dayton Corners area of Colona and numerous items were taken, including a flat screen TV over 60 inches in size, another flat screen TV, a table style video game, and several bottles of alcohol.

Due to the size and nature of the items, more than one person would have been needed to remove the items, and a truck, van or similar vehicle would have been needed to transport them.

Anyone having information about this case is asked to contact Henry County Crime Stoppers at 800-227-2324.

All calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and any tip that leads to an arrest in this case could be eligible for a reward of up to $1000 in cash.

Two Unsolved Cases Featured on ISP Cold Case Website

Two local cases that have gone cold are receiving new attention on the Illinois State Police “Unsolved Crimes” web page. Both cases are homicide investigations, and detectives are hopeful that someone will come forward with that one piece of information that solves these cases.

The first unsolved homicide occurred in early September of 1974. A 16 year old high school student in Atkinson, IL named Mary Ann Becker was found dead inside her home. The initial investigation involved multiple police agencies, but the case has remained unsolved.

The ISP Cold Case web page for this case, including a picture of Mary Ann, is available here.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Special Agent Brian Masters, Illinois State Police, at 309-752-4915 ext. 4934, or PSA Larry Kot, Illinois State Police, at 847-608-3230. Callers can also report tips to Henry County Crime Stoppers at 800-227-2324.

The second case happened in early July of 2003. An East Moline woman was reported missing, and four days later the body of 47 year old Jone Knapton was discovered in the Green River in rural Henry County. Again, a multi-agency task force investigated, but the case has remained unsolved.

The ISP Cold Case web page for this case, including a picture of Jone, is available here.

Anyone having information concerning this case is asked to contact the Illinois State Police M/Sgt. Chris Endress 309-752-4928, the Quad Cities Crime Stoppers: (309)-762-9500, or Henry County Crime Stoppers: 800-227-2324.

As with all unsolved felonies, any caller to Crime Stoppers with information that leads to an arrest in either of these cases could be eligible for a reward of up to $1000 in cash.

Armed Robbery Attempted in Kewanee

The Kewanee Police Dept.is investigating an attempted armed robbery that occurred at the Shell Station at 511 S. Main St. in Kewanee on the morning of Friday, January 24, 2014. The suspect was caught on store cameras and is shown here.

Kewanee Shell Armed Robbery Suspect 01-24-2014

He was described as a white male with tattoos under both eyes and another tattoo on his temple. Police say that the suspect entered the station and waited for other customers to leave. He then approached the counter armed with a knife and demanded money. The suspect was unable to obtain money and fled the store in a small red car that left on West Prospect Street.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Henry County Crime Stoppers at 800-227-2324. All calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and if your tip leads to a felony arrest you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Photo courtesy of Kewanee Police Dept.

UPDATE – 01/24/2014

A Kewanee man was arrested late Friday afternoon in connection with an attempted robbery early Friday morning at the Shell Express, 511 S. Main St. Stephen W. Lambert, 36, turned himself in at the Kewanee police station at about 4 p.m. Police said Lambert had been named in an arrest warrant for attempted armed robbery. He was taken to the Henry County Jail.

Authorities Investigating Hit and Run Accident

Authorities have been unable to solve a hit and run accident that occurred shortly after 12:00 Noon on Sunday, December 29, 2013 near the intersection of Wolf Rd. and Stagecoach Rd. in rural Geneseo.

The victim reported that a black SUV, similar in appearance to the Chevy Trailblazer, turned onto Wolf Rd. in front of them. The victim reported colliding with the SUV on the passenger side, causing it to go into the ditch. The SUV then backed up, knocked over a roadside sign, and drove away to the south on Stagecoach Rd. The victim believed that the driver of the SUV was female, but could not provide any other description.

Authorities have followed up on the evidence left at the scene and after several leads have been unable to locate the dark colored SUV. This vehicle should have damage to the passenger side and the back window was broken out. Based on debris left at the scene, the vehicle may have a connection to the Quad City area.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Henry County Crime Stoppers at 800-227-2324. All calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and if your tip leads to a felony arrest you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Area Businesses Hit By Burglaries

A pair of crimes are being investigated by local authorities that are very similar to last month’s burglary at Motor City Auto in Kewanee.

During the overnight hours between the evening of Monday, January 13, and the morning of Tuesday, January 14, 2014, entry was made to both Crowe Auto at 303 Tenney St. and the Finish Line at 1116 N. Main St. in Kewanee. In both cases the office areas were entered and among the items taken were cash and electronics.

It is unknown what connection, if any, these may have to the earlier December incident, although authorities are actively investigating all three cases. The Motor City and Crowe Auto cases are being investigated by the Kewanee Police Dept., while the Finish Line case is under the jurisdiction of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call Henry County Crime Stoppers at 800-227-2324. All calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and if your tip leads to a felony arrest you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Burglary to Kewanee Business

Kewanee Police are investigating a burglary that occurred sometime during the overnight hours from December 3 to December 4, 2013. Entry was forced into the Motor City Auto building at 505 Tenney St. in Kewanee.

Upon gaining entry, the suspect or suspects removed an undisclosed amount of cash from the office area.

The location is in a high traffic area in Kewanee, situated on the corner of Tenney and Garfield streets, and authorities are hoping someone may have noticed something going on at the location.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Henry County Crime Stoppers at 800-227-2324. All calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and if your tip leads to a felony arrest you could be eligible for a cash reward.

 

Thefts at Rural Kewanee Church

Henry County authorities are investigating a pair of thefts from the Church of Peace, located at 28358 N. 900 Ave., Kewanee.

The first theft occurred sometime between Wednesday, July 31 and Thursday, August 1, 2013. Two very large copper-colored planters and a white concrete bench were taken.

The second theft occurred sometime between Thursday, September 26 and Saturday, September 28, 2013. The compressors were removed from two large outside air conditioning units. Wires and copper lines were also cut.

Both of these thefts may have required more than one suspect to lift and load the items that were removed.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call Henry County Crime Stoppers at 800-227-2324. All calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and if your tip leads to a felony arrest you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Intruder Confronted In Geneseo Residence

Geneseo Suspect Sketch

On Monday September 9, 2013 at approximately 4:58 a.m. the Geneseo Police Department responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting an intruder in a residence in the 900 block of S. State St. The caller stated that an unknown male was in the residence and was taking items. Upon arrival officers observed items outside in the yard that appeared to be from inside the residence. Responding officers made contact with the victim caller and observed an open window that the suspect may have used to enter the residence. The victim reported waking to strange sounds within and upon checking found the suspect inside the residence. The male claimed that he had permission to be there. The victim left the suspect and went to another part of the house to call 9-1-1. The suspect fled the area prior to officers arriving on the scene.

The victim described the suspect as a white male, 5-10 to 6 ft. tall, with a medium build, wearing a blue and yellow striped shirt and khaki shorts. The suspect did not wear glasses and had no visible facial hair. A crime scene artist was called to assist with developing a “composite sketch” of the suspect.  The attached sketch was drawn by the crime scene artist based on the victim’s information.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Henry County Crime Stoppers at 800-227-2324. All calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and if your tip leads to a felony arrest you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Image courtesy of the Geneseo Police Department

Thefts Reported in Geneseo

The Geneseo Police Department is investigating the thefts of electronic equipment from the IDC Tech Center in Geneseo, IL. Shortly after 2:00 PM on Monday, July 29, 2013, two subjects entered the store. One was a white male wearing a white t-shirt with a dark colored design on the front, with blonde or light colored hair cut short in a buzz cut type haircut. This suspect is shown below on the left as Suspect #1. The other subject was also a white male, wearing a long sleeved shirt, with a large build, short dark hair, and a full dark colored beard. This suspect is shown below on the right as Suspect #2.

Suspect #1 engaged the clerk in conversation, providing a distraction for Suspect #2, who began to walk around the store. Taking advantage of the distraction, Suspect #2 then placed a Nexus Tablet under his shirt and walked out of the store, followed by the first suspect. They may have left in a pickup truck.

Suspect #2 had been previously recorded on surveillance cameras and was possibly involved in another theft at the same store over the winter where a Toshiba computer was taken. On that occasion Suspect #2 was wearing a stocking cap and a brown winter jacket, as shown in the second image below..

Anyone with information about these thefts is asked to call Henry County Crime Stoppers at 800-227-2324. All calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous and if your tip leads to a felony arrest you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Suspect #1:                                                                Suspect #2

Suspect_1                                   Suspect_2

Suspect_1a     Suspect_2a

 

All images are courtesy of the Geneseo Police Department