By Marissa Parra


ROUND LAKE, Ill. (CBS) — AA community joined forces to stop an unexpected thief – who police say turned out to be one of their own neighbors.

CBS 2’s Marissa Parra explained Thursday evening how social media helped set up the scheme and crack the case.

It first started as a rumor around Nielsen Drive in Round Lake. There were whispers of an item missing from a garage here, a part missing there.

It ended with Michael Schuerr, 39, behind bars – and police said they have Facebook Marketplace to credit.

Schuerr stood charged Thursday with two felony counts of burglary and three felony counts of theft. Police said he stole a set of tools from a neighbor, and tried to sell them to someone on Facebook Marketplace.

Investigators also recovered several other stolen items from his home.

Facebook Marketplace is touted as “the friendlier Craigslist,” allowing users to post and sell items all over the board – ranging from jobs and apartments to clothes and tools.

It was one of those tools that a Gurnee man was trying to buy from Schuerr.

Lake County Sheriff’s police said a man from Gurnee saw Schuerr was selling tools on Facebook Marketplace on Wednesday, and arranged to meet Schuerr his house in the 35300 block of North Nielsen Drive in unincorporated Round Lake.

When the man couldn’t find the house, he talked to Schuerr’s neighbor, whose tools recently had been stolen in a burglary, police said. The neighbor walked the man to the Schuerr’s house, and when Schuerr opened his garage door, the neighbor saw his stolen toolbox and tools inside.

When the neighbor confronted Schuerr, he closed his garage door and ran off, according to police. The neighbor and another good Samaritan followed Schuerr, and detained him until sheriff’s deputies arrived.

Schuerr was already a suspect in other burglaries in the area, and police obtained a search warrant for his home.

During a search of Schuerr’s home, detectives recovered other stolen property, including power tools and yard equipment. Lake County prosecutors approved the theft and burglary charges against Schuerr, and police said he could face even more charges.

Several stolen power tools were recovered from Michael Schuerr’s home, after a neighbor discovered his stolen tools in Schuerr’s garage. (Source: Lake County Sheriff)

Police also said Schuerr was wanted on an active warrant for failure to appear on a charge of unlawful possession of hypodermic needles.

Schuerr is being held in the Lake County Jail on $35,000 bond, and is due back in court on Feb. 13.

If you live in the Round Lake community and you think you might be missing tools, the Lake County Sheriff’s office wants to hear from you. They say they still have recovered tools and are looking to reunite them with their original owner.