Cape Girardeau exterminator accused of stealing from homes
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A pest control worker is accused of stealing from Cape Girardeau, Missouri homes.
Kenneth W. Propst is facing charges of burglary second and theft.
According to court documents, a woman told deputies she leaves $60 to $80 on the kitchen counter in her home for her housekeeper and other help to pick up for payment.
About two months prior, she told officers she noticed the money she was leaving out was being taken before the housekeeper and help could pick it up. She also claimed other items were missing over the past year, including a STHL leaf blower, a BMX bicycle, binoculars and her 10-year-old son's wallet with about $87 inside.
According to court documents, she thought Kenneth Propst of Propst Pest Control was the suspect and that she hired him two years ago. Deputies say she told them she hadn't noticed anything missing until he started treating her home.
Deputies say she told them Propst sprayed her home once every three months.
On Monday, May 8, at around 9:39 a.m., a deputy went to a business on West Cape Rock Drive to follow up with the woman. She told deputies that Propst starts treating for bugs at the business and then is let inside her home either by one of her workers or her. She said Propst did not have consent to enter her home at any other time and he was not given a key.
According to court documents, she said she recently started noticing more money missing that she kept in her bedroom. She estimated the total amount of money stolen was $1,000 including the money she left for her housekeeper.
While there, deputies watched a surveillance video from the home that was dated Thursday, May 4. According to court documents, the camera was set in the rear of the carport pointing toward the driveway.
Between 10:15 a.m. and 10:20 a.m., deputies say it showed what appeared to be a dark-colored truck park on Terrapin Road, which runs parallel to the driveway of the woman's home and the business. The truck was also seen near the front of the home.
Deputies say a man was seen climbing an embankment from Terrapin Drive and walking toward the carport. Once he got closer to the carport, deputies say they were able to identify the man as Propst. They say the video showed him open the screen door and look through the window of the main door.
According to the probable cause statement, it also appeared that he used a key to unlock the door to get inside. He was allegedly in the home for about two minutes and then left the home through the same door and ran back to the truck.
During an interview with officers, Propst confirmed the woman was one of his customers and that he treats her home and the business once every three months.
According to deputies, when they mentioned things being stolen from the home, Propst said: "the last time he stole anything he was a child."
When told about the surveillance cameras, deputies say Propst admitted to taking money from inside the home on the day of the surveillance video. They say he told them he took about $60 from the kitchen counter and another $60 from the bedroom dresser.
In March, someone else filed a report of stealing with the Cape Girardeau Police Department.
According to court documents, the man told police he hired Propst on March 30. The man reported that his wife let Propst in their home, but then she left.
The man said he later found $220 in cash missing.
According to court documents, Propst admitted to stealing the money during an interview about the theft on May 9.
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