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Houston Lake man guilty of stealing

Lopes gets five years probation


by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

A man who lists a Houston Lake address has been placed on five years probation after pleading guilty to charges of burglary, stealing and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Larry Dale Lopes, age 40, entered the guilty plea on July 19. Judge James Van Amburg accepted the guilty pleas, sentenced the defendant to seven years in prison but suspended execution of that sentence and instead placed Lopes on probation for a five year period to be supervised by the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole.

Lopes is also ordered to pay restitution of $2,000 to the victim in his burglary and stealing offenses. He is to pay $150 per month.

Lopes was charged earlier this year after authorities say he stole two children’s ATVs from a garage and a pistol from inside the residence that is listed as his address. Lopes had apparently stayed at the residence for a time.

A Platte County Sheriff’s Department deputy on patrol in the Houston Lake area on Nov. 24 observed a maroon 2007 Plymouth Voyager minivan on Venetian Drive at about 9 a.m. on that morning. The driver attempted to be covering his face while approaching the deputy. As it passed, the deputy recognized the driver to be Lopes.

A neighbor reported seeing the minivan pull into the driveway at 5443 Venetian Drive shortly after the victim left about 9 a.m. The van was occupied by two adults, a male and a female the witness recognized as Lopes and a friend. The witness later saw the van pulling out of the garage and leave a short time later. The van returned about 10 minutes later and the neighbor saw the same two people go back into the house for a few minutes and leave again. The witness knew Lopes and the other person because they had stayed at the residence for a while, according to court documents.

Police spoke with the female who was with Lopes and she acknowledged being at the residence and that they took “items to an apartment on Broadway.”

Lopes originally denied being with the female on that day and told police a man driving an identical van to his was at the residence and committed the burglary.

Court documents say Lopes had previously stolen several items from the garage including a rototiller, weed eater, and lawn mower and pawned them at a local pawn shop. The victim was able to locate and reclaim those particular items, according to court documents.

Nearly two months later, on Jan. 15, the same sheriff’s deputy observed the vehicle being used by Lopes in the parking lot of the Walmart on Boardwalk off of Barry Road. From previous contact, the deputy says he knew Lopes to be the suspect in the burglary and to also have warrants.

The deputy contacted Lopes in the vehicle and upon Lopes exiting the vehicle a pistol was observed on the floor near the driver seat. A blue glass smoking pipe was observed next to the gun, according to court documents. Court papers indicate the glass pipe field tested positive for methamphetamine.

A holster, attached to the belt of a pair of mens pants, and loose ammunition were also located inside the vehicle. Lopes denied knowledge of the weapon. Court documents indicate at that time Lopes was already a convicted felon and unable to possess a firearm.