SUBJECT: Man who Repeatedly Burglarized Elderly Woman’s Home Arrested
RELEASE NUMBER: 2016-NR-046
CONTACT: Lt. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding
On Tuesday, June 14, 2016 the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office arrested a burglar believed to be responsible for repeatedly breaking into an elderly woman’s home while she slept.
On June 11, 2016 the Sheriff’s Office investigated a report of burglary at a residence off Big Cynthiana Road near New Harmony Road. Overnight an intruder had broken into the home of the elderly woman who lives there. The burglar had ransacked the kitchen and the garage, making off with the victim’s purse.
When asked about possible suspects, the victim recalled having an unusual visitor to her home a week earlier. The victim recalled that a man had come by claiming to be an associate of her recently deceased husband. The man reportedly gave his name as “Pfender”. The victim reported that she had allowed the man to use her bathroom before he left.
A few days later the victim was notified that someone had tried to use her deceased husband’s credit card. The Home Depot on Pearl Drive confiscated the credit card and an ID card belonging to the victim’s late husband. With the assistance of personnel at the Home Depot, the Sheriff’s Office learned that two suspects had attempted to use the card, one had even claimed to be the grandson of the card holder. When the store declined the transaction, both men fled from the store. The Home Depot provided a description and video of the suspects and their vehicle.
During the course of the investigation, Deputy Rob Lutz recalled a recent incident in which he arrested a Mr. Ryan Pfender on an outstanding warrant. Deputy Lutz remembered that Mr. Pfender drove a black Ford Focus hatchback, which matched the appearance of the suspect vehicle from the Home Depot.
On June 13 the Sheriff’s Office located Mr. Pfender’s unoccupied vehicle and impounded it. Pursuant to a search warrant, detectives recovered stolen items from inside the vehicle (which included the driver’s license of the burglary victim’s deceased husband).
On June 14 the Sheriff’s Office located Mr. Pfender at his grandmother’s residence on Koring Road. Mr. Pfender confessed to having broken into the residence on Big Cynthiana on three (3) separate occasions, in addition to breaking into vehicles in the area of North Peerless Road.
Deputy Mike Bishop stated, “A number of sheriff’s deputies put in the extra time to solve this case. I think we were all alarmed that an individual would knowingly burglarize a home in which an elderly woman was sleeping. A number of bad outcomes could have easily occurred.” Deputy Robert Lutz added, “This individual needed to be taken off the street quickly.”
The investigation remains open and additional charges are possible.
Ryan David Pfender (pictured above), 23, of Evansville. Burglary of a Dwelling as a Level 4 Felony, Theft from a Motor Vehice as a Level 6 Felony, Criminal Mischief as a Class B Misdemanor.