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More Arrests Made in Columbia Home Invasion; Threat to Public Over

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9/19/11-Columbia IL police chief Joe Edwards announces Monday morning that two more arrests appear to have solved the violent break-in of a home in Columbia last week. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

9/19/11-Columbia IL police chief Joe Edwards announces Monday morning that two more arrests appear to have solved the violent break-in of a home in Columbia last week. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

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COLUMBIA, Ill. (KMOX) –  Police in Columbia announced Monday morning that two more people face charges in connection with a home invasion last week.

He said Alex R. Niemeyer, 21 of Baldwin Illinois, had turned himself him at his hometown police department on charges of home invasion and residential burglary.

Another suspect, 16-year-old Alex E. Gunter of Houston Illinois, was arrested shortly after last Wednesday break-in on South Kremmel.

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Alex R. Niemeyer (Provided photo)

Police say that two masked suspects entered his home in the pre-dawn hours, and when he confronted them he saw they were armed.

The men threatened to shoot the homeowner, then robbed the place before taking off.

Columbia police chief Joe Edwards said it was a relief to get these two, especially Niemeyer, off the streets.

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Alex E. Gunter (Provided photo)

“We were extremely concerned about Mr. Niemeyer’s overall mental health,” Edwards said during an early-morning press conference at police headquarters Monday.  “We were worried based on information we had received from family members and friends that he may have continued to commit crimes.”

A third person has also been taken into custody for an unspecified role in this crime, but police have not released their identity.

The 2009 Chris Coleman murder case notwithstanding, Chief Edwards said crimes of this type are extremely rare in his community of 10,000.

“I’ve been here over eighteen years and this is the first home invasion that we’ve had,” Edwards said.

Copyright KMOX Radio

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