EDWARDSVILLE — Multiple charges have been filed against an Edwardsville police officer for a series of burglaries discovered following a weekend burglary at a salon in Edwardsville.
Officer Brian Barker, 41, was originally charged Tuesday, Dec. 23, with burglary and official misconduct following an investigation into a burglary at Reality Salon and Spa. A 911 call was received at the Edwardsville Police Department at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, after the burglary was discovered through the owner’s security system. Upon learning that an Edwardsville officer was suspected in the burglary, Edwardsville Police Chief Jay Keeven contacted Sheriff John Lakin and the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and requested they handle the investigation.
Following the initial investigation into the Reality Salon and Spa, the Madison County State's Attorney's Office charged Barker with one count of burglary, a Class 2 felony, and one count of official misconduct, a Class 3 felony. He is accused of stealing approximately $450 while on duty.
Further investigation into unsolved burglaries in Edwardsville following Barker’s arrest led to additional burglary charges filed Friday, Dec. 26. Barker is now facing 11 additional burglary charges and one count of residential burglary, a Class 1 felony, for crimes committed between May 2012 and November 2014. Additionally, Barker is charged with aggravated unlawful possession of stolen firearms, a Class X felony. The burglaries occurred at businesses in the Edwardsville area including law firms, retail establishments and another salon. The residential burglary occurred in Moro.
If convicted, the charges carry penalties ranging from probation up to four to 15 years on the Class 1 felony, three to seven years in prison on the Class 2 felony and two to five years on the Class 3 felony. Class X felonies are nonprobationable and carry a penalty of six to 30 years in prison.
In a press release, State's Attorney Tom Gibbons expressed disappointment on filing charges against Barker.
“It’s disheartening filing charges against a law enforcement officer," Gibbons said. "Their sworn duty is to protect and serve our communities. However, when they violate that trust, it is up to my office to ensure that they are held accountable for their actions. No person is above the law. The citizens of Madison County must have confidence in their justice system, so it is imperative that we ensure equal justice under the law.”
The State's Attorney's Office has been advised by Keeven that Barker will be placed on administrative leave without pay. Barker’s bond was set at $100,000 on Friday’s charges and $75,000 on the original charges. He was released from the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville Thursday night after posting $17,500 cash on the initial charges.
Gibbons thanked Madison County Sheriff John Lakin for providing the immediate assistance and excellent investigative work of his department in conducting the independent investigation of the matter.
He also commended the Edwardsville Police Department for their immediate action upon learning of the allegation.