Two people have been arrested for burglary of a home on Little Sandy Road in Sherman.
Whitney Sue Laughlin, 32, and Michael Wayne Howard, 29, both of 12 Hog Trail Road, Sherman, were charged with two counts each of burglary and conspiracy. Jackson County Magistrate Laura Pursley set their bonds at $80,000 each.
On Sept. 4, Detective Sgt. M.E. Cullen of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department began investigating a burglary that occurred on Aug. 30 at a residence on Little Sandy Road in Sherman.
The homeowners reported that on Aug. 30, Laughlin and Howard broke into a safe located in the bedroom behind a locked closet door. Laughlin is a relative of the alleged victims and, at one time, lived at the residence, according to a criminal complaint filed in magistrate court.
The victims reported there were scratches on the closet door knob and on top of the safe near the key hole. A bent metal coat hanger was found on the bedroom floor
The victims reported $300-$400 in cash had been stolen, along with some prescription pain medication. In addition, $200-$300 in cash and change was stolen from a small locked bank in the kitchen.
A family member of the victims had been staying at the residence, and he had seen Laughlin and Howard there earlier in the day. An ex-boyfriend of Laughlin’s had also been at the residence but was never out of the family member’s sight during the visit. The victims reported their family member was staying at the residence to keep an eye on things because the family has had problems with Laughlin and Howard in the past.
On Oct. 3, Cullen investigated another burglary at the residence. He was told that since the previous incident, the family had installed an audio/video security system inside and outside of the residence, which captured video of Laughlin and Howard at the residence while the victims weren’t home.
The victims reported Laughlin brought her two children inside the residence and asked the family member staying there to watch them while she retrieved some belongings from her old bedroom. The video shows Laughlin going into the victims’ bedroom and other parts of the house.
The video also showed Laughlin removing a large bed comforter, which the victims said did belong to Laughlin. However, a flat-screen television also was missing from the residence. In his report, Cullen stated that he and the victims believe Laughlin concealed the television in the comforter to remove it from the home undetected because Laughlin had noticed the security cameras while she was in the residence.
Howard stayed outside while Laughlin was inside the residence. A video recording showed him walking up the steps on the side of the garage to a storage area located out of view of the camera. When he came back into view of the camera, he had a large tote that was eventually placed in the car.
The video also showed Howard pushing and shoving a door on the lower level of the garage in an attempt to force entry into the garage. The video picked up audio of Howard asking Laughlin if she had a credit card he could use to enter the lower level of the garage.
A few days later, one of the victims saw Laughlin away from the residence and when she walked up to the vehicle that Laughlin was in, she saw a jewelry box that had been removed from the storage area above the garage.