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Two Lose Big in Winners Heist

Police make arrests in local burglary case

SIDNEY – Sidney Police Department (SPD) Chief Joe Aikens announced the department made two arrests in the Winners burglary and issued a statement.

"We began working this case as soon as it was reported and evidence provided to us by the establishment led us to making two arrests," Aikens told the Sun-Telegraph.

On Monday, January 2, at approximately 2:40 a.m. at Winners in Sidney, 574 Chase Blvd., an entertainment venue featuring skill games with payouts with other video games and pool tables, was broken into and robbed of roughly $18,197.

According to police reports, no employees or customers were at the establishment at the time the robbery took place, however, security cameras were able to provide law enforcement with images.

"We recently arrested Michelle Doetker, (40), and Matthew Cole, (35), and charged them with felonies and misdemeanors based on surveillance evidence and other evidence our department worked to collect," Aikens explained.

Adding, "We hope to release more in the future as the cases continue to progress through the court system in conjunction with the county attorney's office."

At 5:30 p.m. on May 2, Doetker was arrested by SPD; her arraignment is scheduled for June 13 at 1 p.m. at Cheyenne County District Courthouse.

Meanwhile, Chief Aikens reported, Cole awaits processing and currently does not have any future court dates pertaining to the Winners burglary due to being in jail, on unrelated charges, in Eastern Nebraska.

"Once the department in Eastern Nebraska receives our arrest warrant and finishes processing Cole through their court system, it will be up to us to bring him back to Sidney to face court here," Aikens added.

Chief Aikens said it will likely be CCSO that will transport Cole back to Sidney because the case will eventually move from the county court to the district court, as Doetker's case is already at district court.

According to the Cheyenne County District Court Clerk, Doetker's case was received from the county on May 11, and the court set a motion and arraignment hearing for her in mid-June.

Doetker "was taken into custody by the Sidney Police Department on a Cheyenne County Warrant for charges – two counts of aiding and abetting, a class III felony."

Additionally, Doetker was also charged with criminal trespass first degree, a class I misdemeanor, and criminal mischief of $0-$500, a class III misdemeanor.

"Mr. Cole was charged with Burglary, a class IIA felony, theft of more than $5,000, a class IIA felony, criminal trespass first degree, a class I misdemeanor and criminal mischief, a class III misdemeanor," Aikens further elaborated on.

According to original statements provided by SPD, the pair gained entrance into Winners by breaking a small window out of the back service door, which has cameras in the area.

SPD shared its evidence with other law enforcement authorities such as CCSO and the Nebraska State Patrol to be able to issue warrants for the individuals suspected of committing the robbery.

A search of Doetker indicates she briefly worked at Winners before the burglary occurred and Cole has a laundry list of other charges from unrelated crimes.

At this time, law enforcement does not believe this robbery at Winners in Sidney is connected to other skill game establishments that occurred earlier this year in Lincoln, Omaha, Hastings, North Platte and other Nebraska communities.

"The wife (Doetker) and ex-husband (Cole) are the only two suspects in this case and we did work with the state to determine if this case was connected to others across the state – it was not," Aiken explained.

The Sun-Telegraph reached out to the state department for comment, they declined to comment and only stated they worked with SPD and also do not believe the case is related to the string of skill gaming facilities in the state.

Chief Aikens said the department is working on a number of other arrests concerning cases that are important to the community, however, did not have updates on those at this time due to the sensitivity of the cases and not wanting to compromise the cases.

The Sun-Telegraph reached out to Winners establishment managers and owners for a comment, however, no comment was available to publish in time for publication.


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