Illinois man confesses to more than 100 burglaries in Cape Girardeau, Jackson

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Click here to download a copy of the letter to victims

Cape Girardeau and Jackson police have closed the file on the burglaries that have plagued both cities since fall, but police say Mark P. Lowery, who agreed to a plea bargain that could send him to prison for 70 years, won't face additional charges.

Lowery, 46, of Robinson, Ill., is charged with committing one burglary each in Cape Girardeau and Jackson but confessed to more than 100 burglaries over three years, said Cpl. Adam Glueck, spokesman for the Cape Girardeau Police Department.

Cape Girardeau police sent letters to victims of the burglaries Lowery had confessed to, letting them know the person believed to be responsible for the crime was in custody, Glueck said.

In a copy of the letter given to the Southeast Missourian by the police department, assistant chief Roger Fields wrote that both the Cape Girardeau and Jackson police departments, Lowery's attorney and Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle agreed that Lowery wouldn't be prosecuted for all of the burglaries in exchange for his honesty.

In lengthy interviews with police, Lowery described observing a residence for weeks at a time before burglarizing it, trying to minimize the risk of a confrontation with homeowners.

A surveillance photo of his car parked near one of the houses he allegedly burglarized and DNA left behind at a crime scene linked Lowery to the two crimes in which he is charged, according to court documents.

A school resource officer learned Lowery had taken his 12-year-old stepdaughter out of school because they had to leave the area after his vehicle was shown in local media, according to a probable-cause statement.

Lowery was implicated in the Feb. 4 Cape Girardeau burglary by DNA evidence found on a small black radio left behind by the burglar, according to the statement. At first he denied it was his, then later said he left it there to throw off suspicion because it was engraved with a phony name, the statement said.

He selected houses at random, based on what he considered to be a "wealthy" part of the city, Fields wrote.

Lowery told investigators he concentrated his efforts on valuable jewelry and cash so he could easily flee if confronted by law enforcement or the residents of the house.

In many of the burglaries attributed to Lowery, pricey electronics and sometimes firearms were passed up.

Investigators have been working on trying to recover the stolen items, and Lowery has been cooperative with those efforts, Sgt. Scott Eakers of the Jackson police said in previous interviews.

In the letters, Fields asked victims of the burglaries to fill out victim impact statement forms from the prosecutor's office, saying it might affect the sentence Lowery receives.

Lowery's case will be adjudicated in Stoddard County on the two counts of burglary and two counts of theft as a prior and persistent offender, having convictions in Orange and Riverside counties in California for residential burglary, car theft, attempted burglary and receiving stolen property.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

388-3635

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