Homer Police last Wednesday charged another person in relation to the Oct. 21 Tech Connect burglary. Elizabeth DeArmoun, 49, faces charges of third-degree theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Police said DeArmoun received a set of stolen Dr. Dre wireless headphones worth $280, allowed a relative, a child under the age of 13, to have the headphones and gave the headphones to an adult man to get rid of them.
Tech Connect, a Pioneer Avenue electronics store, was broken into sometime between Oct. 19 and Oct. 21. About $4,500 in Apple iPads, iPad minis, iPods, Nanos and Dr. Dre headphones were taken.
In response to the Tech Connect burglary and other crimes, a citizen crime prevention group, the Kenai Peninsula Crime Group, has been formed, said organizer Phillip Boyle. The group meets to discuss recent events and how citizens can respond from 2 to 3 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Anchor Point Senior Center on Milo Fritz Road.
Police on Oct. 23 charged Joshua Johnston, 24, with second-degree burglary for breaking into the store, as well as second-degree theft and tampering with physical evidence. Four other people were charged with tampering with evidence and theft for possessing stolen items: Patrick deLumeau, 20, Chrystal Tangman, 36, Brandon Doty, 22, and Derek Dour, 22.
Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said the case remains under investigation and several more people could face charges of tampering with evidence or theft because they knew items were stolen and didn’t call police.
“We were just surprised in this case,” Robl said. “These people we’re charging knew the stuff was stolen. He (Johnston) admitted it to them, and no one calls us.”
Robl said police suspect the thefts were drug related. He said people can avoid being charged with theft or evidence tampering if they call police right away when they suspect an item has been stolen. Citizens can report crimes in Homer by calling the police phone number at 235-3150.
“If the person drops that stuff in your house, don’t touch it. Call us,” Robl said.
Police identified suspects in the Tech Connect burglary after Tangman and Doty went to an AT&T store and asked for help in setting up an iPad they had not bought there. A clerk got suspicious because she’d read about the burglary on Facebook. People who bought iPads legitimately would have gotten help at the store they bought it, the clerk told police, and this also made her suspicious.
In charging documents for DeArmoun filed at the Homer Court, Homer Police Officer Stephen Smith wrote that deLumeau told him a female relative of Derek Dour was involved in disposing of some of the stolen Apple electronic devices. Dour is the cousin of Ashley Dour, 26, who also is deLumeau’s fiancé. DeLumeau said he learned from his fiancé that the female relative had disposed of stolen items at an East End Road Dumpster. Police named the woman in a complaint, but she has not yet been charged in the case.
That woman denied knowingly disposing of stolen items, Smith wrote, but said she knew Derek Dour had possessed stolen goods. In charging documents against Derek Dour, police said Dour had a stolen iPad and sold it to Doty for $150. The female relative said she went with Dour to DeArmoun’s home and saw him give the Dr. Dre headphones to DeArmoun and the child.
Police also interviewed DeArmoun. Smith wrote that DeArmoun said she got the stolen Dr. Dre headphones from Dour and knew they were stolen, and she allowed the child to take them as a gift from Dour. DeArmoun also said she later gave the stolen headphones to a man to dispose of them, Smith wrote.
Police also have charged deLumeau with first-degree promoting contraband. Ashley Dour, his fiancé, had been charged earlier with promoting contraband and fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, heroin.
Police said that while deLumeau was at the Homer Jail, he and Dour had talked on the jail phone about smuggling heroin to him in clothing. Jail phone conversations are monitored by police and jail officers. On Oct. 26, Dour came to the jail with a pair of white shorts. Police inspected the pants and found in the waistband a black tarry substance that tested positive for heroin.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.