A 19-year-old Springfield man faces a felony breaking and entering charge as well as the possibility of federal charges for allegedly trying to break into the historic Crabill Homestead at the C.J. Brown Dam and Reservoir.
Anthony Sacher pleaded not guilty to one count of breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony, on Monday in Clark County Municipal Court. He’s accused of trying to kick in the doors of the Crabill Homestead on Sunday night.
Clark County sheriff’s deputies, who patrol the area as part of a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, spotted Sacher and three others walking in the area and reportedly heard “what sounded like strikes on one of the doors,” before locating the group fleeing the area. After they were detained and questioned, Sacher allegedly admitted to trying to break into the home, Sgt. Kris Shultz said.
Because the Crabill Homestead is located on land overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it is considered federal land. Therefore, the agency has jurisdiction and could choose to pursue federal charges separate from those filed by the sheriff’s office, Shultz said.
Shultz is also the site manager for the Crabill Homestead for the George Rogers Clark Heritage Association, which maintains the property. Built in 1821, the home’s value is in its history and unique architecture rather than anything inside.
That hasn’t stopped vandals from trying to break in, however. Last year, someone stole the home’s copper gutters, valued at more than $40,000 due to their age and craftsmanship. They’ve been replaced with steel gutters meant to look like copper, Shultz said.
“(The home) does seem like an easy target because it’s isolated and remote back here in the woods,” Shultz said. “We’ve made several apprehensions on a number of people back here who really have no motive or reason for wanting to break into the building other than curiosity.”
Sacher didn’t tell deputies why he allegedly tried to break inside. His bond was set at $2,500, which has since been posted, according to court records.