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Phone:
(620) 429-3992
or
(620) 848-3000

Emergency:
Dial 911

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915 East Country Road
P.O. Box 479
Columbus, Kansas 66725

Administrative Office Hours:
Hours: M-F 8:30am-4:30pm
 
     
02/21/2013

Charges Filed In Connection to Recent Residential Burglary Cases

      Charles Littlefiled         Penny Snyder (Crotzer)


The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office has been investigating several residential burglaries over the past couple of months. 
 

The suspects targeted homes during the day when the residents were gone and the thieves primarily focused on stealing jewelry.

As the investigations progressed, and some stolen property was recovered, two “persons of interest,” Charles Littlefield and Penny Snyder a.k.a. Penny Crotzer became the primary focus of those investigations.

While attempting to locate Littlefield and Snyder (Crotzer), investigators learned they changed vehicles multiple times over the course of a few weeks.

On Monday morning, just after 8:00 a.m., a 1999 Jeep was reported stolen east of Baxter Springs and potential suspect descriptions matched those of Littlefield and Snyder (Crotzer).  The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office immediately issued an Attempt To Locate on the vehicle and sent it to all area law enforcement agencies.

Less than an hour later, an Oklahoma State Trooper spotted the vehicle in the Miami area, and attempted to conduct a traffic stop on it.

The vehicle fled, entered into Kansas, where Cherokee County deputies joined the pursuit, which ended at a rest area on I-44 in Missouri.

Arrested was the driver, 42 year-old Charles Littlefield and 42 year-old Penny Snyder (Crotzer), both of Miami, Oklahoma.

In addition to recovering the stolen Jeep, officers also recovered a significant amount of jewelry in the vehicle.

Since recovering the jewelry, Cherokee County Investigators have been able to connect some of that jewelry to five recent residential burglaries, so far.

Littlefield and Snyder both had outstanding warrants for their arrest out of Joplin on theft related charges and were taken into custody in Missouri.  Littlefield remains in custody.  Penny Snyder (Crotzer) was released.

On Thursday, Cherokee County Attorney Nathan Coleman filed formal charges of Felony Theft, Felony Conspiracy to Commit Theft and Felony Obstruction of Justice against Penny Snyder (Crotzer).  County Attorney Coleman also filed Felony charges of Conspiracy to Commit Theft, Felony Theft, Felony Fleeing and Eluding Law Enforcement and Reckless Driving against Littlefield. 

Numerous additional theft related charges on Littlefield and Snyder (Crotzer) are expected to be filed in Cherokee County District Court in the coming days.

Anyone with information relating to the whereabouts of Penny Sndyder (Crotzer) is urged to contact the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office at 620-429-3992 or Heartland Crimestoppers at 417-782-TIPZ(8470).

In addition to the arrests made Monday, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office has made additional burglary and theft related arrests over the past couple of weeks.

Formal charges have been filed against Skylar Duncan of Rose, Oklahoma and Britanni Rufino of Springdale, Arkansas, both of whom remains in custody in the Cherokee County Jail.  Duncan and Rufino were arrested following a pursuit after they allegedly committed a theft in Labette County on February 8th.  In their vehicle, suspected methamphetamine was discovered, along with property identified as stolen out of Wilson County, Kansas.

The following day, Travis Roberts and Jenny Stephenson were arrested after being caught allegedly burglarizing a northern Cherokee County home.

Along with a motorcycle found at the crime scene, officers discovered another vehicle the suspects had allegedly stashed approximately a mile away.  Following a search warrant being executed on that vehicle, property identified as stolen approximately a month ago in Weir was recovered.

"I greatly appreciate the vigilance of Cherokee County residents over the past several weeks, and also am thankful to the private source who offered a substantial cash reward to assist in the investigations relating to the rural Columbus area burglaries," said Sheriff David Groves.

While burglary reports have decreased since these recent arrests, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office still encourages residents to be watchful on their neighborhoods, report suspicious activity and photograph / document jewelry, electronics and firearms.

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