By Jeff Lehr
Three suspects are in custody and more arrests and charges may be imminent in a probe of recent burglaries of homes in three states, according to the sheriffs’ departments in Jasper County and Cherokee County, Kan.
Victims were being given a chance Tuesday to sort through suspected stolen property at the Jasper County sheriff’s office to see if any items belonged to them. Capt. Derek Walrod said most of the property was recovered this past weekend from a storage unit on North Range Line Road and from a house in Joplin.
“As of right now, we’ve identified 16 victims in three states — Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri,” Walrod said. “Almost all of what we have is jewelry and jewelry boxes. There’s a few electronics and things like cameras and some DVDs.”
Two people were taken into custody late Thursday afternoon by Jasper County deputies while Newton County deputies were arresting a third suspect. Walrod said other arrests may be pending.
Lori R. Cupp, 34, of Duenweg, and Jeramy Allison, 36, of Joplin, are being held at the Jasper County Jail on felony counts of burglary and receiving stolen property. Jeremiah T. Block, 33, of Duenweg, was being held in Newton County on a burglary charge.
Walrod said the stolen property has been linked to burglaries in Jasper, Newton and Barton counties in Missouri, Cherokee County in Kansas, and Ottawa County in Oklahoma.
A probable-cause affidavit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court states that a vehicle occupied by Allison and Cupp was stopped Thursday afternoon leaving a storage unit business at 1810 N. Range Line Road.
The affidavit states that a deputy conducting surveillance at that location had watched the two suspects unload items from the trunk of their vehicle and place them in a storage unit. At the time, other deputies were looking into a burglary that had just been reported at 17844 Highway 43 near Oronogo.
Allison was taken into custody on suspicion of receiving stolen property in a prior incident Oct. 13. Cupp was arrested on a warrant on a probation violation and on suspicion of trafficking in stolen identities in the prior incident, according to the sheriff’s office.
Allison requested an attorney following his arrest, but Cupp allegedly admitted having been involved in the burglary at the Oronogo address with Allison, according to the affidavit. She told deputies that they transported items taken in the burglary to the storage unit.
The victims in the case subsequently identified several items, including a video game system and games, a flat-screen television, three compound bows and various medications, found in the storage unit as their property, according to the affidavit.
A second affidavit obtained from Newton County Circuit Court states that Block was arrested on suspicion of committing a burglary Oct. 19 at 4634 Hickory Lane. A third affidavit shows that Block also is charged with receiving stolen golf clubs and a pellet rifle that he allegedly got from Allison on Oct. 1 for $50.
People whose jewelry stolen in recent burglaries are being asked to contact Chad Karr or Rod Ayers in the Jasper County sheriff’s office at 417-358-8177.