Footprint trail leads police to snow-covered suspect

The suspect was charged with first-degree burglary.

A trail of footprints in the snow led police officers to a Columbia man who was arrested in connection to a burglary.

Columbia Police Department officers were dispatched to 3607 Topanga Drive at 5:18 a.m. on March 27 after the owner of the home called police to report a burglary in progress.

The homeowner came home and realized his home had been burglarized, CPD spokeswoman Latisha Stroer said.

“He noticed his sliding glass door was busted, and items were missing,” she said.

Officers followed tracks left in the snow for about a mile to the 2900 block of Rangeline Street, where they were able to locate a suspect covered in snow wandering around the area, Stroer said.

“Items were stolen that matched the items that were on him,” Stroer said. “The police noticed that in his clothing he had small pieces of glass that were consistent with glass from the broken window in the house that was broken into. The police patted down his clothing and found on him the same items that were stolen in the house.”

Officers arrested the suspect, 41-year-old Malcomx L. Cunningham, on suspicion of first-degree burglary, second-degree property damage and theft.

Sunday’s burglary is the seventh charge against Cunningham since 2006 in Columbia. Cunningham was arrested in February as a suspect in a forgery case, where officers found him in possession of crack pipes and counterfeit checks.

Cunningham was charged with first-degree burglary and remains in the Boone County Jail with a $25,000 bond.

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