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Stolen iPod key to burglary ring arrest

By Rick Miller
Posted by Charles Gazaway

June 25, 2010

BRANDENBURG, KY (WAVE) - The Meade County Sheriff's Office has cracked a burglary ring they say is responsible for over $10,000 in stolen property.

"Whenever you have a series of break-ins or crimes of need, there's a reason behind it", said Meade County Sheriff William "Butch" Kerrick.

According to investigators, the reason for the burglaries was to support their drug habits. The suspects burglarized over 20 homes in four counties: Hardin, Meade and Breckinridge in Kentucky, and Harrison County, Indiana.

"They just took a screwdriver and jammed it right in there," according to 19-year-old Charles Swinehart.

Swinehart and his mother came home to find their home had been burglarized. They were among several families that found the back door of their home pried open.

"And we go in, she goes to her room, finds out her TVs gone, she looked where her iPod was, it's gone," Swinehart said .

It was their iPod that would eventually lead to the suspects. A program called LeadsOnline which allows investigators to search pawn shops in Kentucky and surrounding states all from a computer. Kerrick said all police have to do is enter a description of the stolen items, the serial number, or the names of the person might have visited the pawnshop. Those entries led to the arrest of 27-year-old Joseph Riggs and Kerrick said there could be more arrests. (Image Source of Suspect: Meade County Detention Center)

"One is in jail on receiving stolen property over $500," said Kerrick. "There's three more, possibly five, that will be charged with receiving stolen property or with the offense of burglary."

With the investigation still ongoing, Kerrick has this warning.

"There's more merchandise were going to recover in the next few days," said Kerrick, "We know it's out there, we just haven't got to it in the last 24 hours."

The Swineharts are not upset with the suspects.

"For those people that broke in, were not angry at them, we're not bitter about it, we feel for them, we'll pray for them. And hope that someday they will find a better way to make a living," Charles Swinehart said.

Any information can be reported to the Meade County Sheriff's Office tip line at 270-422-HOPE (4673).

For more information on LeadsOnline call (800) 311-2656

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