The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 10, 2013

Arrests at Carthage linked to car dealership burglaries

By Jeff Lehr

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Authorities believe they have solved a series of break-ins at car dealerships in Southwest Missouri and other burglaries with the arrest of a man and woman at a Carthage motel.

Tammy L. Landsaw, 48, of rural Reeds, and Michael A. Holland, 52, of Joplin, were taken into custody Tuesday morning when police served a search warrant on their room at the Carthage Inn.

Landsaw and Holland were charged with three counts of burglary in connection with break-ins Sunday at the offices of Abbey Title and World Finance in Carthage and a third break-in early Tuesday morning at a State Farm Insurance office there.

Carthage police Chief Greg Dagnan confirmed that charges related to other break-ins in Carthage as well as burglaries in several other jurisdictions are anticipated. He indicated that those include recent burglaries of car dealerships in Joplin, Carthage, Neosho, Sarcoxie, Republic and Lebanon.

Law enforcement agencies in those towns have been working together in recent weeks to solve what were believed to be related burglaries, and Tuesday’s arrests are the result of that cooperation, Dagnan said.

The car dealership break-ins began the night of May 19-20 with those at John Hofer Dodge and Carthage Ford-Mercury in Carthage and Roper Honda in Joplin. Pinegar Chevrolet in Republic was hit the night of May 24-25, Griffith Motor Co. in Neosho on May 31-June 1, and Kenny Neal Ford in Sarcoxie on June 4-5.

Landsaw and Holland remained in custody Wednesday at the Jasper County Jail on $15,000 surety bonds and cash-only bonds of $5,000 each.

Probable-cause affidavits filed in Jasper County Circuit Court state that Holland and Landsaw were observed by a Carthage police officer leaving the scene of the break-in at the State Farm Insurance office at 2232 S. Grand Ave. Holland, who broke a window to gain entry to the office at 12:37 a.m. Tuesday, left when an alarm went off, an affidavit alleges.

Dagnan said the officer who observed the suspects did not arrest them at that time because they were already under police suspicion.

“We already knew who we were looking for and who we believed to be our suspects (in the larger series of burglaries),” Dagnan said.

He said police instead waited and served the search warrant on their motel room about nine hours later. The police chief said the search turned up items linking Holland and Landsaw to several other burglaries.

“I wouldn’t want to be any more specific than that,” Dagnan said as to evidence obtained in the search.

An affidavit states that a pry bar discovered in the room was missing two parts believed to have been recovered at the scene of the break-ins Sunday of the Abbey Title and World Finance offices at 120 E. Fourth St. The two offices are in the same building and are separated by glass doors that Holland is believed to have broken with a concrete block to move from one business to the other.

A bank bag containing $10 cash was stolen from Abbey Title, according to the affidavit. Dagnan declined to discuss what else was taken in the three burglaries in which charges have been filed. Safes were accessed in some of the car dealership burglaries and various amounts of money stolen.  

Landsaw reportedly drove Holland to the burglaries this week in Carthage. An affidavit states that in a statement she provided to police, she acknowledged having given him rides to each of these addresses and maintaining phone contact with him while he was inside.

Motel guests

The Carthage police chief said burglary suspects Michael Holland and Tammy Landsaw have been staying at the Carthage Inn for the past couple of weeks.