Hodgeman County Sheriff Ron Ridley reports that two individuals face numerous charges in Hodgeman County following their arrests in conjunction with the auto burglaries which occurred in Jetmore during the time period December 8th through December 14th. The suspects have also been linked to the theft of a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt from the 300 block of West Park on December 9th.
Sheriff Ridley stated that the Sheriff’s Office has been actively investigating the string of burglaries since their occurrence with the Gray County Sheriff’s Office, Meade Police Department and Meade County Sheriff’s Office. Those agencies had experienced similar crime sprees in late November and early December.
A break in the case came on Thursday, January 6th when a Gray County Sheriff’s Office deputy apprehended two subjects burglarizing vehicles in Cimarron. Sheriff Ridley advised, “Following their apprehension, a Gray County search warrant for the contents of the suspects’ cell phones found evidence that one of the two subjects arrested had been involved in the burglaries in Jetmore, as well as the ones in Cimarron. Subsequent interviews identified yet another suspect as being involved in the Jetmore burglaries as well. Hodgeman County SO and Gray County SO executed two search warrants at residences in Ford County late Friday and early Saturday with the assistance of Dodge City Police Department and the Ford County Sheriff’s Office. Evidence linking the suspects to the Jetmore and Cimarron burglaries was recovered as a result of these search warrants. Additional evidence was recovered during several consent searches at residences in Dodge City and Ford County over the weekend. Some of the items stolen in Hodgeman County have been recovered, however much of the stolen property has been sold or traded for drugs and these items may not be recoverable. We are continuing to follow-up additional leads in the hope that we can recover additional property.”
Ridley credits lead investigators, Undersheriff Michael Crutchley and Gray County Undersheriff Jeff Sharp, with making the case against the suspects following the initial arrest by Gray County. “Their tenacity in following all the leads developed during the investigation made the case against these individuals.” Ridley said. Ridley advised that leads provided by Jetmore citizens in the days following the burglaries assisted investigators in developing the Dodge City connection in the initial stages of the investigation.
Besides the Gray County Sheriff’s Office, also assisting the Sheriff’s Office during the course of the investigation were the Dodge City PD, Garden City PD, Meade PD, Meade County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ford County Sheriff’s Office. The KBI, FBI, DEA and ATF also provided surveillance equipment, forensic resources and criminal intelligence to local investigators during the month long investigation.
The suspects are currently being held in the Meade County jail on Gray County charges. Their identity is being withheld until they are formally charged in Hodgeman County District Court later this week. Sheriff Ridley advised that each suspect will face more than 30 felony charges in Hodgeman County alone.