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Two men charged in home burglary

Thursday, February 23, 2006

OREGON COUNTY -- Two area men are in the Oregon County Jail after Sheriff Tim Ward caught them in the act of robbing a residence in rural Oregon County, according to the sheriff.

Ward said he received a call from Joe and Sheila Hoyt of County Road 250 in Thayer saying they thought a burglary was in progress on their property. Ward said he responded to the call and caught Justin C. Hoyt, 18, of Mammoth Spring and Michael B. Mansfield, 18, of Myrtle burglarizing the Hoyt property.

Both men have been charged with class C felony burglary and stealing. They were arraigned in Oregon County Circuit Court Feb. 15 and a bond of $2,900 was set for each man.

Ward said items recovered at the scene include two chain saws, a drill, gas cans and gas.

Both men remain in the Oregon County Jail.

In other arrests, A rural Oregon County man has been charged with arson. On Feb. 13, Alton police officer Stephen Biffle and Oregon County deputy Eddie Johnson answered a fire call along AA Highway near Alton. Stephen Schwake, 47, who lives near the location of the fire, was questioned about the fire and Schwake denied setting the fire. Biffle said after a combined investigation by the Alton Police Department and the Oregon County Sheriff's Office, it was apparent Schwake was at the location of the fire at the time it was started.

Schwake later signed a confession during an interview stating he intentionally set the fire, according to investigators.

Biffle said during the investigation he discovered that Schwake is currently on bond for not registering as a sex offender in the county and also left the state without giving notice. Schwake is a convicted sex offender from Illinois.

Schwake was arraigned in Oregon County Circuit Court Feb. 15. He remains in the Oregon County Jail.



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