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Burglar suspect arrested hiding in crawl space

INDEPENDENCE – Eric Spier, 29, of Independence was arrested after the Independence Police Department executed a search warrant at his residence.

Officers searched the residence for almost 12 hours and seized more than 300 items, much of it stolen property from Independence, Monmouth, Dallas and Polk County. Items included several firearms and other weapons, drugs, stolen vehicles, electronics, tools, furs and a parachute.

The search was temporarily halted because homemade destructive devices were found in the home. Salem Police Department Bomb Squad rendered the devices safe.

A Salem Police Department K-9 unit was requested and assisted in locating Spier, who was hiding in a hidden crawl space under the house. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of a dog bite wound and booked at Polk County Jail.

More than 20 local burglary and theft investigations will likely be solved, Independence Sgt. Tino Banuelos said. It is expected that several more will be solved based on this one investigation and search warrant.

Spier was charged with multiple counts of first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, first-degree theft, second-degree theft, and felon in possession of a firearm. Additional charges are pending.

People who believe that officers may have recovered some of their stolen property, contact Banuelos via email at


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