SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Several businesses in Springfield may be breathing a sigh of relief today as a man accused of stealing and robbing big-name stores in and around town is behind bars.
The Greene County Prosecutor’s Office said Dante McDonough went on a 41-day crime spree, taking merchandise, money, and in some cases injuring store employees at several stores. From Aug. 16 to Sept.. 29, the Springfield Police Department (SPD) said McDonough stole from a Menards, Sally Beauty Salon, Casey’s, Walgreens, Napa Auto Parts, and two Walmart’s in Springfield and a McDonald’s in Battlefield.
Court documents said McDonough ran into and knocked an employee over at the Menard’s on West University Avenue. The documents also mention McDonough pushed into a McDonald’s employee and knocked their glasses off.
In all cases, police relied on security camera video to identify McDonough and place him at the scene of the crime.
“When it comes to the quality of the video surveillance, it does make a big difference in the initial stages as well as in the long-term stages,” SPD Criminal Investigations Lieutenant Annesha Umbarger said. “When we’re working on a case, we’re thinking of further down the road in court and the better the quality. It’s also going to help when it goes to court.”
Between the eight stores, detectives believe McDonough stole around $3,700 in merchandise and cash. His bond is set at $25,000, something Umbarger hopes will keep him in jail.
“Hopefully that will reduce the amount of commercial burglaries and stuff that we’re going to be seeing in the area,” Umbarger said.
Another property crimes case SPD made a breakthrough on involves air conditioner thefts.
“Recently we had a spike in air conditioner thefts, but we did have a break in that case and get the suspects identified and charges have been presented,” Umbarger said.
The department has also seen a rise in trespassers on vacant properties as the temperature drops outside. There are things people can do to deter someone from stealing your property.
“People can take steps to reduce that opportunity, such as locking vehicles, not leaving valuables in vehicle,” Umbarger said. “When it comes to actual buildings, obviously security there is locking your doors and windows. If you have proper lighting, good landscaping to reduce some of the trees and the shrubs. The biggest thing for us is video surveillance and your alarm system.”
OzarksFirst reached out to all the businesses hit by McDonough, but none wanted to go on camera.