PUBLISHED: 13:09 EST, 17 July 2012 | UPDATED: 15:31 EST, 17 July 2012
A Missouri man installed a camouflaged wildlife camera outside his home to photograph critters rampaging through the garbage, but instead of snapping pictures of a pesky possum, the camera captured suspected burglars hiding from police.
According to Brentwood police, three suspects were arrested Sunday morning shortly after they and another accomplice broke into a home in the 9400 block of Parkside Drive to rob two men who live there.
The alleged perpetrators were taken into custody after the hidden camera that Jacob Schuh, 30, had set up a week prior caught them in hiding, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Waiting game: John Schuh’s wildlife camera caught two suspects crouching next to his garbage cans after allegedly robbing a house
In hiding: Police believe the men seen in the photos captured by Schuh’s camera and their two accomplices robbed a nearby house at gunpoint
Schuh said he purchased the battery-powered, motion-activated Primos Truth Cam 46 in an effort to find out what animal was scavenging through his trash cans.
When he went to take a look at the photos on Sunday, the homeowner was shocked to discover the armed robbery suspects kneeling by his gate before being discovered by police.
‘We had no intention of catching a crime or anything more than a varmint,’ Schuh told Fox2Now. ‘It was just surprising to see people on there.’
Trevon Devontae Adams, 20, Ronald Ledell Forture, 21, and Justin James Rush, 23, were each charged with one count of first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree robbery and three counts of armed criminal action.
Busted: A police officer came across the suspects’ hiding place after receiving a tip from a local radio host
Unexpected images: Schuh was shocked to discover photos of the two men hiding and then being arrested right next to his home
Police said they stole about $700 in cash, a credit card, a cell phone and a laptop. Rush was carrying a gun during the robbery, authorities said.
Adams and Forture are being held on $75,000 bail each. Rush’s bail was set at $100,000.
The trio’s alleged accomplice, identified as 23-year-old Ocie Lee Bates III, remains at large, police said.
According to investigators, the four suspects had spotted their victims on Saturday night at the Lumière Place casino in downtown St. Louis, and then followed them home to Brentwood after the two men had won several hundred dollars at a craps table.
Jailed: Trevon Adams, left, and Ronald Fortune, right, are being held on $75,000 bail each
Police received a call about a group of men acting suspiciously from local radio host McGraw Milhaven, who saw the men approaching a house after leaving their car a few houses down the block with the engine running.
When they reached the residence, one of the suspects knocked on the door, and when it opened, part of the group rushed in with a gun drawn while one or two remained outside, appearing to be lookouts, according to Milhaven.
Armed and dangerous: Justin Rush, right, is being held on $100,000 bail because he is believed to be the one carrying a gun, while his alleged accomplice Ocie Lee Bates, left, is still on the loose
Following the robbery, the men fled and found temporary refuge next to Schuh’s trash cans, not knowing that there is a hidden camera trained on them. Officers who were called to the scene arrested three of the men.
Police are still searching for a handgun that they believe one of the robbers dropped as he fled.
Schuh said he gave police copies of his photos after discovering the camera had captured two of the suspects.
The following night, the 30-year-old said his camera finally caught the perpetrator he was aiming for: A rogue possum tearing through his garbage.