The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

February 22, 2013

Three states now figure in woman’s arrest in burglaries

COLUMBUS, Kan. — A woman suspected of recent burglaries in Kansas and Missouri was being held Friday at the Cherokee County Jail in Columbus.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department said Penny Snyder, 44, was taken into custody Thursday night on warrants stemming from an investigation of recent home burglaries in the county.

Snyder is charged with felony theft, felony conspiracy to commit theft and felony obstruction of justice in Kansas. She also was being held on a warrant issued earlier this week in Jasper County, Mo., for first-degree burglary.

Cherokee County deputies had arrested Snyder and Charles Littlefield, 42, both of Miami, Okla., on Monday after a vehicle pursuit that began in Oklahoma.

The sheriff’s office said investigators of a rash of burglaries committed in the past two months had developed Littlefield and Snyder as suspects and were looking for them when a 1999 Jeep was reported stolen east of Baxter Springs, Kan. The deputies had reason to believe the suspects had been changing vehicles frequently and the suspects in the vehicle theft matched their descriptions.

The sheriff’s office said surrounding law enforcement agencies were notified and asked to help locate the stolen vehicle.

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper spotted the vehicle in the Miami area and tried to make a stop Monday morning. A pursuit ensued into Kansas, ending at a rest stop on Interstate 44 in Missouri, and Littlefield and Snyder were arrested.

A significant amount of jewelry believed to have been stolen in the burglaries was recovered from the stolen vehicle, the sheriff’s office said. Both suspects had outstanding warrants for their arrest on theft-related charges in Missouri and were arrested by Joplin police at that time.

While Littlefield remained in custody, Snyder was released prior to the issuance of warrants for her arrest by Jasper County in Missouri on Tuesday and Cherokee County in Kansas on Thursday. The Missouri charge on Snyder stems from a burglary Feb. 5 in Oronogo. Cherokee County investigators say they have tied the jewelry in the car to five recent home burglaries and additional charges are pending against Snyder and Littlefield.

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Missouri Republicans are considering a new approach to prevent federal agents from enforcing laws the state considers to be infringements on gun rights: barring them from future careers in state law enforcement agencies. Do you think this proposal has merit?

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