A Thursday morning burglary arrest in St. Charles Township had the makings of a reality show, with the suspects creating an island hideaway in the middle of the Fox River, police said Saturday.
Casey P. Fecteau, 19, of the 1200 block of Ronzheimer Avenue, and Kenneth W. White, 18, of the 6N600 block of Illinois Street, both of St. Charles, were each charged with two counts of burglary and are suspected of breaking into homes in the township's Valley View neighborhood. If convicted, they could spend between four and 15 years in prison.
Contact information ( * required )
According to police, Fecteau and White broke into two homes Thursday morning -- one on Riverside Drive and the other on Irving Road.
During one of the burglaries, a male homeowner tackled White and tried restraining him until police arrived, but White got away, said Lt. Pat Gengler, a spokesman from the Kane County Sheriff's Office.
White fell down a ravine and broke his arm during the escape, Gengler said.
"I could tell you that was not from us," Gengler said of White's bruises and arm sling that are visible in his booking photo. "That's how he appeared when we took him into custody."
The suspects and three others were apparently living on an island between 50 and 100 yards away from the subdivision and traveled there by wading into the dangerous river where numerous people have drowned, Gengler said.
At 12:30 p.m. Thursday, a sheriff's deputy saw the group crossing the Fox River from the island to the subdivision.
The deputy waited until the group reached the mainland before arresting White and Fecteau.
Gengler suspects the pair stayed on the island to elude police.
After the arrest, detectives and personnel from the St. Charles Fire Department rowed to the island and discovered an elaborate camp that included a teepee, a swing and old lumber that the group built around the camp to camouflage it from outsiders, Gengler said.
In addition to the items stolen in the burglaries, officers also discovered food wrappers, beer cans and fishing poles.
"It was almost like someone spent a little too much time watching the 'Survivor' shows because they had a pretty substantial camp out there," Gengler said. "It looked like somebody was literally living on the island. Whoever built it knew what they were doing."
Police dismantled the camp as best they could.
The Kane County Forest Preserve owns the island and will finish breaking down the site, Gengler said.
Meanwhile, Fecteau and White were being held Saturday on $100,000 bond. Their court date was not available.