DATE: January 16, 2015
SUBJECT: Burglary Ring Uncovered: Arrests Made
RELEASE NUMBER: 2015-NR-006
CONTACT: Lt. Doug Daza / Lt. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff David Wedding
The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office has arrested three individuals in connection with a series of residential and commercial burglaries. These burglaries occurred throughout 2014 in the northeastern portion of Vanderburgh County. Entry was forced and items such as tools, televisions, jewelry and guns were taken during the burglaries.
During the investigation into the burglaries, Sheriff’s detectives noted similarities in the manner of entry, the items taken and the geographical area in which the crimes were occurring. Some of the information provided to our investigators by the public corroborated information we learned during the course of the investigation. One victim even used social media to help solicit leads for our detectives to follow-up on. A break in the case occurred when a Vanderburgh County resident observed a suspicious vehicle parked in front of his house. The license plate number the resident obtained from that vehicle led our detectives to one of the suspects. Further leads were developed from evidence recovered at the crime scenes.
Detectives were able to determine that Jeffery Scott Brooks was the ringleader of the group of people who committed the burglaries. While still a suspect in Vanderburgh County, Mr. Brooks was arrested by an Indiana Conservation Officer in Gibson County on January 07, 2015. The Indiana State Police investigated and later filed Burglary charges against him. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Brooks was already on probation for a February 2014 Conspiracy to Deal Methamphetamine case.
Sheriff’s detectives executed seven (7) search warrants on multiple residences based on probable cause developed during the investigation. Multiple items of stolen property were recovered as well as other evidence linking the suspects to the burglaries. Some of the suspects cooperated with investigators and provided evidence which implicated other ring members. The information developed showed that Mr. Brooks was the leader of the other suspects, who individually participated in some but not all of the burglaries.
Sheriff’s detectives believe the group was collectively responsible for committing over twenty burglaries. Most of the residential burglaries occurred in the McCutchanville area. The commercial burglaries occurred in the area of SR 57 and Baumgart Road as well as the Daylight area. Detectives are in the process of identifying the ownership of the recovered property and will be contacting the owners as they are determined.
Warrants will be sought for Jeffery Brooks’ arrest on multiple charges. At least two other suspects have been identified and charges are anticipated. Additional charges against those already in custody are expected to be filed as well.
Sheriff Dave Wedding stated, “This case demonstrates the value of having good neighbors who keep an eye out for each other. The open lines of communication between neighbors and to the Sheriff’s Office were instrumental in bringing about the resolution of this case. Between this investigation and the unrelated equipment theft ring that was dismantled earlier this month, our detectives have been working non-stop. I am proud of the work our deputies have done and grateful for the help we received from members of this community.”
Matthew Bryant Dormeier (pictured above), 26, Evansville. Burglary as a Level 5 Felony, Theft as a Level 6 Felony – $1,000.00 bond
Justin Michael Rider (pictured above), 24, Evansville. Burglary as a Level 5 Felony (2 counts), Theft as a Level 6 Felony (2 counts) – $10,000 bond
Richard Dewayne Chaffin (pictured above), 51, Evansville. Burglary as a Level 4 Felony (4 counts), Theft as a Level 6 Felony (4 counts) – $50,000 bond
Jeffrey Scott Brooks (pictured above), 41, Evansville. Arrested in Gibson County. Multiple Burglary and Theft charges to be filed in Vanderburgh County