Stilwell police solve six burglaries with items recovered

Taking inventory of recovered stolen goods are, from left: Chief of Police Chad Smith and Curtis Jordon; in back, Paul Caton; and right, Gordon Chronister. Renee Fite | Democrat Journal

Six burglaries were solved by the Stilwell Police Department from an investigation that began on Friday night, with a call about a burglary that resulted in an arrest Monday morning.

Stephen Sam and Brianna Luethje were taken into custody and booked into the Adair County Sheriff’s Department, charged with six counts of burglary, knowingly concealing stolen property and several misdemeanors, said Chief of Police Chad Smith.

“It started as an investigation late Friday night from a call at Southern Estates about a burglary, and we followed some leads through the weekend. Monday morning, a guy tried to cash one of the stolen checks at Armstrong Bank,” said Smith.

Another lead took the officers to a motel room, where they recovered items from multiple burglaries.

Tuesday morning, officers took inventory of the property. Along with stolen checks, they recovered jewelry, two televisions, a computer, stilts for dry wall, checkbooks, coats, clothing, bedding and other miscellaneous items – enough to fill four large suitcases and three medium-sized ones.

“Some of this stuff we recovered before people knew it was missing. Some came out of the Rooster Barn. We had a lead and checked and found the door had been broken into,” Smith said.

Owners have been contacted, photos and a list of all items cataloged, and once the district attorney releases the items, the property owners can pick them up, said Smith.