Heroin, Alcohol Blamed for Truck Theft Involving 2,000 Lab Mice
Men were to drop truck off at Bridgeton hotel, but couldn't find the location, police report indicates.
Police say the two men who stole a refrigerated truck containing 2,000 laboratory mice were intoxicated and had used heroin.
Dustin Maas, 30, and Matthew Haney, 23, were charged Wednesday with stealing the truck from the Red Roof Inn parking lot in St. Charles. The truck was left running to keep the mice cool. The truck was owned by TransporTech.
St. Charles Police said many of the mice had received radiation and forms of genetic injections for research. The mice were valued at $10,000; the truck was valued at $50,000.
A police report said Maas and Haney admitted they had been drinking all day and had used heroin. Neither has a permanent address, and Haney had stayed at the hotel for weeks, police said. Haney's last known address was in the 1500 block of Batters Box Drive in O'Fallon.
Maas told police he and Haney were drinking with two men who provided them with clean needles and urged them to steal the truck and take it to a hotel near Interstate 270 and St. Charles Rock Road in Bridgeton.
Maas told police the truck’s window already was broken when he got in the truck and the engine was running.
Haney told police he left to get money from Maas’ father in the hotel, and when he came back Maas was in the truck. He said he didn’t know the truck was stolen until he noticed the broken glass. Because he was intoxicated, he didn’t know or care where they were going, he told police.
A police report noted Haney knew they had taken a cab to the hotel because Maas had no transportation.
Maas said he drove the truck to Bridgeton, but because he was intoxicated he could not find the hotel and decided to take it back to St. Charles. Bridgeton Police pulled them over on westbound Interstate 70.
The truck had been missing for about 18 minutes. It was equipped with a GPS device.