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Suspect in Crystal Lake theft tracked down through snowprints

CRYSTAL LAKE – During an unusually warm winter, police caught a Round Lake man suspected of stealing power tools from Menards by following footprints left in the snow.

The suspect, who has a criminal history spanning two decades, also left a trail online. Police arrested him Friday when he showed up at a meeting that investigators set up to buy tools listed for sale on Craigslist.

Wallace A. Henshall, 47, of 1108 Idlewild Drive, faces burglary and theft charges for allegedly stealing items from Menards stores in Crystal Lake and Fox Lake, Crystal Lake Deputy Chief Gene Lowery said.

Police suspect that the man broke into Menards in Crystal Lake by removing a glass pane from an overhead door next to the store’s garden center. The burglar had replaced the glass pane with Plexiglass after leaving the store.

Investigators with Menards loss prevention had launched their own investigation into the disappearance of hand tools, power tools and copper wiring at the Crystal Lake and Fox Lake stores. Some of the items were discovered missing in early December. Loss prevention investigators had identified Henshall as a suspect, police said.

Investigators found shoeprints in the snow behind the Menards in Crystal Lake that led to a nearby storage facility, Space Management.

Working with loss prevention and Fox Lake police, Crystal Lake police got a warrant to search a storage unit Henshall had rented there, Lowery said. They also set up a meeting with him to buy tools he had listed on Craigslist.

Police arrested Henshall on Friday when he showed up for the meeting, Lowery said.

Inside the storage unit, police found multiple items from Menards and a 2011 Ford Ranger pickup that had been stripped down to its chassis. Investigators later learned the truck had been reported stolen from Buss Ford in McHenry, police said.

Henshall was charged with burglary, theft, possession of burglary tools and possession of a stolen vehicle. He remained at McHenry County Jail on $100,000 bond as of Wednesday, officials said.

Henshall has a long criminal history in McHenry County, with arrests dating to 1989, according to court records.

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