3 arrested in Columbia, Illinois home invasion

2:23 PM, Sep 19, 2011   |    comments
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Alex Gunter

By Ryan Dean

Columbia, IL (KSDK) - Two men have been charged and a third is in police custody in connection to the home invasion that occurred in Columbia, Illinois on Wednesday.

Alex Gunter, 17, of Houston, Illinois, and Alex Niemeyer, 21, of Baldwin, Illinois, were each charged with home invasion and burglary.

Investigators say the two wore bandanas to disguise their appearances, and broke into a home in the 500 block of S. Kremmel Street around 3:55 a.m.  Police say one of the men was carrying a hand gun and threatened to kill the homeowner.

Police are not saying if it was Niemeyer or Gunter who had the gun.  Eventually, Gunter and Niemeyer ran from the home.  Police say they were able to steal some items from the house.

Gunter was arrested on Thursday, while Niemeyer turned himself into authorities on Monday morning, after police told his family that they were going to put his picture out to the public, hoping someone would spot him.

Columbia Police Chief Joseph Edwards says in his 18 years at the department, this is the city's first home invasion. Edwards says the department is applying for charges against a third person in this case, but would not elaborate on what that person's role was in the crime.


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