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Detectives Catch Thieves Red Handed!
(May 5, 2004)

    Detectives catch thieves Red handed!

    Two men burglarize a rural home and take several items from inside.  Hard working Detectives develop suspects.  They arrange an undercover sting operation and lure the suspects to bring the stolen loot to a meeting place.  In a dramatic ending and less than five hours from the initial report call, Detectives apprehend both suspects and recover all the stolen property for the homeowners.  While this may sound more like a Hollywood movie plot, that was the scenario that faced Detective Sergeant Bob Sexton and Detective Lieutenant Phil Murphy on Monday night, May 3, 2004.

    The call began as a Burglary Investigation.  The homeowner reported that someone burglarized their home in the 7200 block of South Centerline Road in rural Nineveh township.  Sheriff's Lieutenant Jerry Pickett responded to assist the victims.  He found that the suspects entered the home and stole a locked  safe containing checks, vehicle titles, coins, and other personal items.  Also taken from the residence was a hunting knife.  While the suspects were inside the home, they damaged a larger 6' steel safe but were unable to gain entry into the box.  Lt. Pickett contacted Sheriff's Investigations Division who quickly responded.

    Detective Sergeant Bob Sexton and Lieutenant Phil Murphy began putting together pieces of the puzzle.  With cooperation from involved parties and good police work, the men quickly developed suspects in the crime. 

    With the assistance of Division Major Steve Byerly, the Detectives arranged for the burglary suspects to meet at the Whiteland Dairy Queen parking lot late Monday night.  As the suspects were heading to the location, Sheriff's Deputy Bryan Wolfe and canine handler Kerry Hamilton and his partner Robbie positioned themselves close to the business, while Detectives Byerly, Sexton, and Murphy were also poised nearby.

    In a made-for television-ending, the suspects entered the parking lot and  Deputies' sprang out and took the theft suspects into custody.  The thieves were caught 'red handed' with many of the stolen goods inside their vehicle.  Detectives Sexton and Murphy interviewed the suspects and found that the stolen safe had been dumped near the Waffle and Steak Restaurant in Greenwood; Sheriff's Sgt. Eric Cox recovered the safe. 

    Only five hours after the crime, the 19-year old male and another 16-year old male suspect confessed and were incarcerated, thanks only to the quick and diligent work by members of your Johnson County Sheriff's Office.