Locksmith charged with vandalizing locks found dead

Sunday, October 21, 2001

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City locksmith accused of damaging the locks of area businesses so he could service them for a fee has been found dead, police said.

Jerry O'Neal, 37, was found in his Kansas City home Wednesday afternoon. Police were still investigating the cause of death but said it was an apparent suicide.

O'Neal had been charged Monday with two felony counts of unlawful merchandising practices.

The charges alleged that O'Neal, of Metcalfe Key, squirted glue into the locks on the doors of Joe's Burger Joint and Joe Joe's Italian Eatery with the purpose of repairing or replacing them for a fee.

The owner of the restaurants, Joe Zwillenberg, said his 24-hour surveillance camera showed O'Neal squirting glue into the locks.

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