METROPOLIS, IL — The Massac County, Illinois, Sheriff's Department is investigating thefts in the area that are connected to methamphetamine.
Deputies obtained a search warrant this week for an investigation dating back to early this year. During their search Monday, they found a stolen ATV, generators, pressure washers, power tools, vehicle parts, drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine.
Deputies received information about evidence that was burned and buried in the yard of the home. The Massac County Highway Department used digging equipment at the property, and investigators say they found evidence from stolen vehicles underground.
Sheriff Chad Kaylor said the amount of stolen items they found was shocking.
"We were overwhelmed by what we saw there," Kaylor said. "I believe we ended up taking eight truckloads and two trailer loads of what we believe were stolen items from the residence."
Kaylor believes that theft is connected to other thefts in the area — and possibly a criminal organization. He wants to shut it down.
Investigator Jori DeNeve has a message for would-be criminals.
"It does not pay to commit crimes," DeNeve said. "And if an individual out there, somebody out there, needs help, there is help out there for you."
Metropolis, Illinois, is known as the home town of Superman. Jim Hambrick has been running a Superman store and museum there for nearly 30 years. He remembers a time when drugs weren't an issue.
"We just have to be more thoughtful of our neighbors and we have to watch each other's back," Hambrick said. "There's a war going on, and it's drugs."
Hambrick hopes Metropolis instead will be known for good morals and values, like Superman.
The suspects in this case are in custody. The Sheriff's department expects they'll face more charges. They also anticipate more arrests.