Duo linked to more than 100 burglaries in Cheyenne County

 


Two Sidney women have been linked to more than 100 residential burglaries in Cheyenne County, according to police.

The Sidney Police Department revealed that the women had been casing houses and stealing valuables, cash and prescription medication since 2014.

“A list of 70 residences were identified as targets in the burglaries just in the Sidney city limits,” a media release stated. “Items taken included prescription medication, cash, jewelry and designer clothing.”

An additional 40 homes were burglarized throughout the county, according to police.

The Sidney Police Department, Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol and Cheyenne County Attorney’s office have joined in the investigation.

“Over the next days and weeks, officers from the Sidney [Police Department] and deputies from the Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office will be contacting identified target homeowners to establish if they were or are missing items from their homes as identified by the subjects,” the release stated. “There are many victims who may not have realized their homes had been burglarized and may have decided missing items or strange occurrences in their homes may have been the result of something else.”


One of the suspects is currently in custody on six charges related to the alleged offenses. She was arrested last week, Sidney Police Chief B.J. Wilkinson said. Charges against the other woman are pending, he added.

Because the investigation is ongoing and one woman has yet to be charged, The Sidney Sun-Telegraph is withholding the names of both suspects.

A special prosecutor has been appointed in the case because two of the homes burglarized belong to area law enforcement officers, Cheyenne County Attorney Paul Schaub said.

“At this point, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment on [the case] with the special prosecutor in place,” he added.

Assistant Attorney General Doug Warner, who is prosecuting the case, said he doesn’t yet have a timeline for when additional charges related to the case will be filed.

“I’m going to meet with the officers, and then I’ll have to see how things are progressing before I can make a decision,” he said. “I don’t know what the outcome is going to be as far as how many charges. I haven’t gotten that information yet. I just know the officers are working on it.”

Based in Scottsbluff, Warner will travel to Sidney this week to meet with police and sheriff’s deputies.

Wilkinson said the primary motive of the two women was the acquisition of prescription medication.

“These two are professional pill eaters and they have perfected getting other people’s pills,” he said. “Perfected it.”

Local police were alerted to the suspects’ alleged involvement in the burglaries after they were arrested last month in Logan County, Colo., on similar charges.

While out on bond, one of the suspects returned to Sidney and confessed to Wilkinson about two weeks ago. The woman then drove around the county with police pointing out residences she and her accomplice had burglarized.

The chief said he was stunned as the number continued to grow.

“They went out in a car and they never came back,” Wilkinson said. “I called the guys and they said, ‘Chief, we’re on the fourth legal pad page of addresses, and we haven’t left the city limits yet.”

Addresses recorded on the drive were cross-referenced with open cases, he said. However, only 10 percent of the suspected cases had previously been reported.

Wilkinson said that was due to the suspects’ methods.

“They didn’t break anything, they didn’t leave any marks,” he said. “The only things they took: drugs, money, clothes and jewelry.”

Access was gained through unlocked windows and doors. They also pushed air conditioning units out of windows before replacing them, Wilkinson explained.

In the next two weeks, deputies and police would be contacting residents of homes they suspect were burglarized.

“We have probably 50 or 60 names and addresses that have been identified to us as targeted houses where something was taken, and this week and next week, officers are going to go out and do the leg work,” Wilkinson said.

Police will knock on doors and ask homeowners if they remember anything coming up missing.

Cheyenne County Sheriff John Jenson said sheriff’s deputies would be doing the same thing.

“This is a very large investigation and it’s going to take many man hours,” Jenson said. “We will stay on top of it.”

The suspects were methodical in their alleged crimes, Wilkinson said.

“They’d scour the obituaries, knowing there’d be meds in the house, and wait for the funeral notice to be posted, knowing that the house would be empty during the funeral,” he said.

They also used social media to learn when homes would be empty due to vacations, or who had prescription medicine on hand due to illnesses or surgeries, Wilkinson added.

According to police, the suspects would often have children in their vehicle when they scoped out homes.

Wilkinson said one of the suspects told him they believed that they didn’t look like burglars when they were riding around in a car full of children.

The scale of the alleged crimes is unique for Sidney, he added.

“It’s pretty unprecedented that this many have been identified and the list just keeps getting bigger,” he said.

Once all of the reports have been completed, they’ll be forwarded to the prosecutor.

“It’s just the sheer volume that is staggering,” Wilkinson said.

Asked if there may have been additional burglaries connected to the suspects outside of Cheyenne and Logan Counties, he said at this point, anything is possible.

“If their imagination could create the opportunity, they acted on it,” he said of the suspects. “It’s like Thelma and Louise, with a car load of kids. The only thing they didn’t do is drive off a cliff.”

Questions or information regarding these cases can be directed to the Sidney Police at (308) 254-5515.

 
 

Reader Comments
(1)

guest01 writes:

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