An Independence man has been charged with numerous burglaries at area storage facilities after investigators say he confessed to the crimes and directed police to the units he broke into.
William Eaton, 29, faces 10 counts of second-degree burglary, a felony, involving thefts at two Independence locations, Public Storage on 31st Street off Noland Road and Red Dot Storage off U.S. 24 in the Susquehanna area.
If convicted, Eaton faces up to seven years in prison for each count of burglary.
According to court documents, police had received a tip that Eaton was involved in a series of storage facility burglaries and were able to get a search warrant to place attach a GPS tracker to Eaton's car. Over the course of five days, police tracked it to Red Dot nine times, then on Jan. 30 tracked the car to Public Storage. They found several units at Public Storage had been burglarized.
The next day, police met with Eaton, who while not handcuffed or in custody, said he had committed multiple burglaries. Then while in custody, Eaton showed investigators the storage units he had broken into – several of them near units that he rented, he said.
Eaton said he had hidden a large number of stolen items at an address on Indian Lane in Independence. A person at that home told police Eaton would constantly bring items there that were beyond his financial means and that he didn't know Eaton to have a job. He said he didn't know where Eaton's items came from and believed many were stolen – enough to fill several pickup trucks.
Police also noticed the pattern of Eaton's shoes matched the shoe prints found in the snow at Public Storage.
Independence Police said the investigation leading to the arrest was a product of the department's newly formed street crimes unit. They said recovered stolen property would be released after the investigation had been concluded.