On 02/02/15 at 9:47 p.m., Macomb Police Investigators were canvassing the area where several burglaries had recently occurred.
Investigators made contact at 713 ½ East Calhoun Street with a subject identified as Michael T. Burns, age 41. As investigators were speaking with Burns they confronted him about the odor of burnt cannabis coming from inside his apartment. Burns immediately fled back into his residence, shutting and locking the door behind him.
Investigators learned that Burns was on parole with the Illinois Department of Corrections and waited outside the residence while attempting to contact his Parole Officer. At 10:49 p.m. the Macomb-McDonough County Communications Center received a 911 call of an armed robbery in progress at the Ayerco Convenience Center, located at 608 E. Jackson Street. The 911 call prompted a multi-agency emergency response from several jurisdictions from the Macomb area. The call forced investigators to leave Burns’ residence to respond and provide assistance. Officers converged on the location and quickly determined it was a hoax.
At 10:54 p.m., a second 911 call was received. The caller advised the suspects from the armed robbery were fleeing Eastbound, down East Jackson Street, towards Walmart. At this time, investigators re-established surveillance on 713 ½ E. Calhoun Street, believing the calls might have been placed by Burns.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for 713 ½ East Calhoun Street and the warrant was executed at approximately 2:40 a.m. on 02/03/15. Inside the residence Officers located Burns, a female, and two children.
While executing the search warrant, property from four recent residential burglaries and one commercial burglary were located inside. A stolen handgun was also found on the roof of the residence.
Investigators located numerous articles of stolen property hidden in ceiling tiles throughout the apartment, as well as a small amount of cannabis and the phone used to make the 911 calls.
While being interviewed at the McDonough County Jail by investigators, Burns later admitted to making the fake armed robbery calls. He also admitted to burglarizing several residences and a business in Macomb.
Burns was charged with five counts of Burglary, Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, Possession of Stolen Property, four counts of Criminal Damage over $300, Criminal Trespass to a Residence, Felony Disorderly Conduct, Filing a False Police Report, and Unlawful use of a Weapon.
Burns is currently being lodged in the McDonough County Jail on a cash bond of $7,500. A warrant for his arrest has also been issued by the Illinois Department of Corrections for Violation of Parole.
The Macomb Police Department was assisted by Officers from the Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety and Deputies from the McDonough County Sheriff’s Office.