The arrest of two people on Tuesday in connection with three weekend burglaries in Carthage may be responsible for a string of burglaries in Carthage, Joplin, Sarcoxie, Neosho, Republic and Lebanon, committed since May.
Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan said officers arrested Michael A. Holland, 53, Joplin, and Tammy L. Landsaw, 49, Reeds, on Tuesday. Charges were filed by the Jasper County Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday.
The two are being held in the Jasper County Detention Center in Carthage on bonds of $15,000 surety and $5,000 cash on three counts each of felony second degree burglary.
Dagnan said these charges could be the first of many filed against them in several jurisdictions.
“This was the result of a joint investigation involving the Carthage Police Department, Joplin Police Department, Neosho Police Department, Sarcoxie Police Department, Lebanon Police Department and Republic Police Department and the Jasper County Drug Task Force,” Dagnan said. “I can't reveal exactly the locations of the other burglaries they are being investigated for before the other departments file papers seeking charges, but it involves a large number of burglaries and we believe the evidence shows we have caught the people responsible for them.”
Dagnan said the three counts filed on Wednesday involve three burglaries at businesses in Carthage early Sunday morning.
A sworn statement by Carthage Police Detective Jeff Steffen said evidence linked Holland and Landsaw to break-ins at Abby Title and World Finance, on the Carthage Square at 120 E. Fourth St., and State Farm Insurance, 2232 S. Grand Ave., between 12:20 a.m. and 12:37 a.m. on Sunday.
According to Steffen's statement, an officer spotted Holland and Landsaw leaving the State Farm Insurance office shortly after the burglaries Sunday morning.
Dagnan said they were not arrested or detained immediately, and on Tuesday, officers served a search warrant on a motel room at the Carthage Inn where the two had been staying for several days.
Steffen's statement said officers found a piece of a broken pry bar in the motel room that matched two pieces that were found at the businesses on the Carthage Square on Sunday.
Steffen's statement also says Landsaw confessed to the burglaries, saying she gave Holland rides to each location and kept in touch with him by cell phone while he went inside.
Dagnan said investigators believe Holland and Landsaw were responsible for the May 19 and 20 burglaries at John Hoffer Dodge and Carthage Ford Mercury and a burglary at Clothesline Cleaners in Carthage on July 7.
Dagnan said similar burglaries have been reported in all the cities involved in the investigation. At least one of the burglaries in Lebanon may have happened before the May 19-20 burglaries in Carthage, but the others have happened since then.
Dagnan said even though Holland and Landsaw were staying in Carthage, they listed Joplin and Reeds as their permanent addresses.