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No one wants to feel unsafe in their home and no one understands this better than Detective Dan. So when an older couple returns from vacation to find their house has been burgled, he jumps on the case. Dan discovers two young men in the neighborhood whose stories aren’t adding up and he won’t let up until he gets to the truth. Bonus: Dan shares practical tips for anyone looking to protect their home and property.

The Detective: Detective Dan

Det. Dan was formerly a K9 handler and Violent Crimes detective at the same Small Town police department as his brother. Dan regards his years as a K9 handler to be the most rewarding of his career. He is now retired.

Read Transcript

Yeardley:  Hey, Small Town Fam. It’s Yeardley. How are you guys? I’m so glad you’re here. And it is your lucky day, my friends, because our own Detective Dan is front and center today with a case that is so cinematic. I mean, this thing moves, you are going to feel like you’re on a ride along with Dan and the Small Town Dicks crew as Dan investigates two brazen burglaries. Another thing I love about this episode is the rhythm and ease that naturally bubble to the surface when it’s just us on the microphones. And that is not to say we prefer that over having guests on the podcast. Not at all. It’s just different in its own lovely way. So, this case is classic Detective Dan, who longtime listeners know was always like a dog with a bone when it came to his investigations.

 And by that, I mean no detail was too small or too tedious in Dan’s pursuit of the truth and getting justice for the victims. Let me put it this way. You know that expression, leave no stone unturned? Well, if you had a rock garden and it was part of Detective Dan’s investigation, every single stone in your backyard would be upside down before all was said and done. That’s just how the man rolls. Please settle in for Among Thieves.

[Small Town Dicks theme]

Yeardley:  Hi there. I’m Yeardley.

Dan:  I’m Dan.

Dave:  I’m Dave.

Paul:  And I’m Paul.

Yeardley:  And this is Small Town Dicks.

Dan:  Dave and I are identical twins.

Dave:  And retired detectives from Small Town, USA.

Paul:  And I’m a veteran cold case investigator who helped catch the Golden State Killer using a revolutionary DNA tool.

Dan:  Between the three of us, we’ve investigated thousands of crimes, from petty theft to sexual assault, child abuse to murder.

Dave:  Each case we cover is told by the detective who investigated it, offering a rare personal account of how they solved the crime.

Paul:  Names, places, and certain details have been changed to protect the privacy of victims and their families.

Dan:  And although we’re aware that some of our listeners may be familiar with these cases, we ask you to please join us in continuing to protect the true identities of those involved-

Dave:  -out of respect for what they’ve been through.

[unison]:  Thank you.

Yeardley:  Today on Small Town Dicks, we have the usual suspects. We have Detective Dan.

Dan:  Good morning, team.

Yeardley:  Good morning, you. We have Detective Dave. Did you say something?

Dave:  Hello.

Yeardley:  Oh, there you are.

Dave:  Oh, I had muted my thing, anyway, [Yeardley laughs] sorry to blow that fucking intro up. Good job, boy.


Yeardley:  First day.

Dave:  Yeah.

Yeardley:  [laughs]I want to do it again. We have Detective Dave.

Dave:  Hello all.

Yeardley:  Hello you. And we have the one and only Paul Holes.

Paul:  Hey, hey.

Yeardley:  Hey, hey. [chuckles] Look how straightforward I can be. They’re all like, “Whatever Yeardley,” [laugheter] Small Town Fam. Today is a really, really terrific day because today we get a case from our own Detective Dan. So, Dan tell us “How this case came to you?”

Dan:  So this case came to me. I was a detective. This is several years ago, late July. So, July 29th, one of our community service officers goes out and takes a report. It’s a cold burglary report that our community service officer takes from this residence in this older, established neighborhood in our city.

Yeardley:  Tell the listeners what a community service officer is.

Dan:  They are unarmed officers. A lot of times, they take care of traffic control for us. They take cold burglary, cold car break-in reports. They help us out with any at large animal, like a dog that gets loose, they’ll go out and help us along with our animal control officer. They do a lot of things that don’t get recognized by the general public, and they are invaluable to us.

Yeardley:  And are they sworn or are they like the volunteer fire department?

Dan:  They’re not sworn. So, our CSO, community service officer, she goes out and takes a burglary report from Gene and Dorothy. Gene and Dorothy had left town on July 23rd and had come back home on July 30th, so a week. And as they enter their home, they notice some things are amiss. They go into the bedroom, the quilt, bedspread that they have is gone, the TV in the living room is gone. Now they know, “Oh, we’ve been burglarized.” And they start going through other areas of their house where they know they’ve got some valuables. They notice some jewelry missing. Their silverware is missing. It’s kind of ornate, old silverware that they’ve got. And as they continue going through the house, they continue discovering other items that are missing. Among those items are a couple fishing reels that are valuable, valued about $100 a piece. And they also noticed that their guns are missing.

Yeardley:  Oh.

Dan:  These are all rifles. And they’re missing from the closet in the master bedroom. They had guns in the closet and a couple knives and a spotting scope used for hunting. So quite a bit of property is missing and they call the police. Our community service officer goes out there and takes a report. They find that the point of entry at this house is on the west side of the house. So, it’s the backyard of the house, and it’s kind of a makeshift carport shop area that’s attached to the house. It’s covered, but it’s very well concealed from any prying eyes of neighbors.

Yeardley:  Given the fact that guns were taken in this burglary. How come a detective isn’t the first person to go out and take a report from Gene and Dorothy?

Dan:  Pretty standard at our department. I don’t know how other departments work, but really, patrol and CSOs are kind of the point of entry for an investigation.

Yeardley:  I see.

Dan:  So the report gets taken over the weekend. So, I come in on Monday and I have this report waiting for me in my caseload, I’ve got 50 active cases.

Yeardley:  It’s just a waterfall of cases, isn’t it?

Dan:  Yeah.

Dave:  How would you triage a brand-new case that lands on your desk or electronically? How do you go through that and how do you prioritize that?

Dan:  There are a few factors that I use to kind of triage my caseload, severity of the crime. As I read through the reports attached to these cases I’m looking for, “Do I have suspect info? Is there a named suspect?” Now, the initial report, there’s no named suspect that I get from our community service officer for this burglary. But as I’m reading through the reports, there’s a supplemental report. And the supplemental report is Gene and Dorothy have a son named Cliff. And Cliff is pretty pissed off that his parents’ house got burglarized. And Cliff takes it upon himself over the weekend to go visit some pawn shops in town. And one of the first pawn shops that Cliff goes to, he talks to the two employees and says, “Hey, my parents are missing some things from their house, lists off the property. And two of the employees at the pawn shop go, “Yeah, we actually took a couple things in from a guy. We’re not going to give you this guy’s name, but we can confirm that there is some property here that matches the description that you’re providing.

Yeardley:  So Cliff is an adult, obviously.

Dan:  Cliff is in his 30s. Gene and Dorothy are in their 60s.

Paul:  And Dan, correct me if I’m wrong, the quilt that is missing, that probably was used like a satchel to carry some, if not all the stolen property out of the house.

Dan:  Yeah. The pretty common tactic that burglars use is they’ll take a quilt or any luggage, duffel bags, pillowcases, anything that they can use to carry the property. So, you just bundle it up, throw it in the quilt.

Dave:  I’m picturing the grinch’s sleigh.

Yeardley:  Yes, exactly.

Paul:  Well, and it kind of tells me that you have offenders that likely have done this before, and they likely had a vehicle nearby in order to be able to transport all of this.

Dan:  Right. The amount of property, the size of the property, tells you that there’s possibly more than one person involved in this. So back to Cliff. Cliff goes to this pawn shop, talks to a couple employees, and they confirm, “Yeah, there was a guy who came in here, and he sold us a knife. And we’ve got a Citizen Eco-Drive watch that Cliff says, “Yeah, that’s my dad’s watch.” So, these two employees, they know the name of the suspect. They don’t provide the name to Cliff of the suspect, but they have the record. So, this is before the police are really even involved. And they get on Facebook, and they look up the suspect who pawned the property, and his name is Mark. And they find Mark’s Facebook page. And the profile picture featured on the Facebook page is Mark and another young man.

 And they are shooting guns out in the woods. And they say, “Yeah, that’s definitely Mark.” And the other guy in the Facebook picture, he was in here with Mark and he was acting a bit odd. So, I still don’t know who the other guy is. But now I’ve got ID– Mark provided ID when he pawned the stuff. We have a computer program. I can log in to the pawn shops, I can type Mark’s name in, and it’ll show me everything that he’s pawned.

Yeardley:  So just to be clear, as soon as Gene and Dorothy found out they were robbed on July 29th, their son Cliff went straight to the pawn shop before police were even involved.

Dan:  Right. And I start investigating this case on August 4th is when I get the report. So, we’re a few days behind.

Yeardley:  Five days, at least.

Dan:  Yeah. And part of it’s over the weekend, so that’s part of the delay. Normally, I would get it the next day. So, I contact these pawn shop guys. They’re super cooperative. I mean, you almost get to know the pawn shop employees. You have so much contact with them. It’s constant, especially in the caseload that I was investigating. I was constantly going to pawn shops, and I know how they operate. I know which ones have good cameras and which ones have, eh, iffy cameras.

Yeardley:  On purpose.

Dan:  On purpose. Some of them have cameras in the parking lot to capture license plates. It’s pretty handy dandy sometimes. [Yeardley chuckles] So after talking to these pawn shop guys, I get into my database with the pawn shops, and I notice that Mark has pawned some other items, including a rifle at another pawn shop in our city. So that’s my next stop. I go to this other pawn shop. I talk to the employee who says, “Yeah, I remember this transaction, it happened a couple days ago.” And the rifle, I’m thinking is part of this burglary because we’ve got rifles taken in the burglary of Gene and Dorothy’s house. So I call Cliff and I send him a photo of the rifle, and he goes, “That’s not one of ours.”

Yeardley:  Oh.

Dan:  And I’m like, “Huh, that’s weird.” This rifle is not reported stolen. But I’m thinking, like, “There’s no way that, like, it’s got to be stolen. Maybe it hasn’t been reported yet.” So now I go onto Mark’s Facebook page it’s open, so anybody can search his page. It’s not like you have to be friends with him to see all the photos and all the posts. And I quickly find a guy who matches the photo on Mark’s profile picture.

Yeardley:  The other guy who’s shooting guns with him in that profile photo.

Dan:  Right. And his name is Andy. Andy was in the pawn shop with Mark when they pawned the watch and the knife. So, I look up the address that Mark has listed and that he put on the pawn slips and he is the direct neighbor of Gene and Dorothy.

Yeardley:  Oh, my God.

Dan:  He lives right next door.

Yeardley:  Bad neighbor.

Dan:  Yeah.

Dave:  I don’t think the burglars drove to the house.


Paul:  See that 50-inch TV marching from one house over to the other house? [laughs]

Dan:  So I call up Dorothy and I speak to her on the phone.

Dave:  Is this your introduction to Dorothy and Gene?

Dan:  Yeah, this is my introduction. I’ve talked to Cliff on the phone at this point, but I haven’t talked to Dorothy and Gene. So, I finally speak to Dorothy, and I don’t tell her who pawned the stolen property. I don’t give her a name. I don’t even describe the person. I just say, “Hey, I’ve got somebody who pawned your property.” And she goes, “Was it my neighbors?” And I said, “Well, I don’t know for sure, but I’m going to go out and have a chat with them.”

Yeardley:  That is so interesting. Does Dorothy ever tell you why she automatically identifies her neighbors as the burglars?

Dan:  Dorothy thought that these people were suspicious because they hadn’t lived there for very long, and they were all younger. I think just automatically, she’s like, “I don’t know about those folks.” Because Dorothy and Gene had lived in that neighborhood for years.

Yeardley:  Interesting. And was the neighborhood full of mostly older people? And so, these young ones were kind of the outliers.

Dan:  This neighborhood is interesting in the fact that there are some very well-established residents that have lived in this neighborhood for decades. And then you have a lot of rentals where people are in and out of there in a year or so. So now we’re into Tuesday, I got the report, and I’ve done a bunch of legwork on Monday, going to pawn shops, retrieving property, showing Cliff photos, doing some homework. Because I want to have as many bullets in my gun, so to speak, when I go talk to Mark and Andy. So, the morning of Tuesday, August 5th now Cliff sends me a photo of one of their pieces of silverware. They sent me a photo and said, “This is the silverware that we’re missing. It matches this.” So I’m like, “Hey, appreciate that. That always helps.” And I get video from one of the pawn shops. I can confirm that it’s Mark on the video pawning the rifle.

Yeardley:  Even though it’s not a rifle that was stolen from Gene and Dorothy’s house.

Dan:  Correct. And he’s also wearing the same t-shirt that he’s got on in his Facebook profile picture.

Yeardley:  You guys always say, “Only catch the dumb ones.”

Dan:  Yeah. So, I click on the profile picture, and I find out that it’s been posted on July 29th. So, they’re shooting the guns on July 29th gives me kind of a timeline. In that afternoon, after I get a bunch of my homework done, I decide I’m going to go out and talk to Mark. I take a couple detectives with me. I’ve got Detective Kyle with me. And at the time, I had a partner named Detective Jeff. So, I take those two guys out there with me, and we knock on the door at Mark’s house.

Yeardley:  Is it the middle of the day kind of thing?

Dan:  Early afternoon.

Yeardley:  Okay.

Dan:  And knock on the door for several minutes. There’s no answer at the door, but there’s a car in the driveway registered to Mark. So, I think that Mark is home. And eventually, finally, Mark opens the door slightly and kind of peeks his head around the corner. And I’m in plain clothes, but I’ve got a gun and a badge displayed, and I identify myself, “Hi, I’m Detective Dan with my city’s police department. I’d like to talk to you Mark. Are you available?” And he goes, “Yeah.” And he kind of slinks his way around the door as to not open the door any wider than he absolutely has to. Like he’s hiding something back there. So, Mark makes his way out onto the front porch, and he quickly closes the door behind him, which these are all red flags for me. Also, the thing that I’m concerned about, and this is an officer safety issue is I’ve got a bunch of missing guns, so this is a concern of mine.

Yeardley:  That he still has them.

Dan:  Yeah. And I say, “Hey, Mark, you have any idea why I’d be out here to speak to you?” And he goes, “I have no idea,” which I expected, I said, “Hey, I’m investigating a case, and it involves some of the items that you pawned.” And he goes, “Okay.” And I said, “That being said, I’m going to advise you of your Miranda rights.” And I advise him of his rights. And he says that he understands. And I said, “Okay.” First question, “Did you pawn anything over the past week?” Mark says, “Yeah, I pawned a knife at a pawn shop over in our neighboring town.” And I go, “Okay, did you pawn anything else?” And he goes, “Nope.”

Yeardley:  And what about the watch?

Dan:  Yeah. So, then I show Mark a photo of him pawning the rifle. And he goes, “Oh, you know what? I did, I pawned a rifle too.” And I go, “Oh, okay.” And I said, “Well, who’d that rifle belong to?” And he goes, “Well, it belonged to my roommate. And I said, “Who’s your roommate?” And he goes, “Andy.” All right. Did you go to any other pawn shops last week? And he goes, “Nope, I didn’t.” I go, Mark, you know, I can search all the pawn shops. And I know that you went to another pawn shop, which is a coin and jewelry pawn shop. And he goes, “Yeah, I don’t remember doing that.” I’m like, “Well, you’re there. You’re on video. [Dave laughs] I’ve got it.” And he maintains, “No, I just don’t remember going there. And at this point, I say, “Hey, that knife that you pawned and that watch that you pawned, those were stolen in a burglary that happened last week.” And he goes, “Oh, my God, really?” I said, “Where’d you get those things?” He goes, “Yeah, there was some tweaker walking down the road. We just started chatting, and he gave me the knife and he gave me the watch.” And I said, “He just gave it to you?” And he goes, “Yep.” You’re all rolling your eyes, right?

Yeardley:  Our eyes have rolled so far back into our heads; they’re now stuck there.

Dave:  It’s absurd. But you have to disprove that because it’s another like, it could be exculpatory. Maybe there is a tweaker out there who is Robin Hood [Yeardley laughs] and gives valuables to people. It could happen.

Dan:  Handing out Citizen Eco-Drive watches to whoever wants one, “Oh, and here’s a knife too, if you want it.” So at this point, I go, “Hey, Mark, is there anybody else here at the house.” And he’s like, “Well, my girlfriend’s here.” And I go, “Okay, do you mind if we go inside your house, and I get to look around to see if there’s any other stolen property in your house?” He goes, “It’s not my house.” I said, “Well, do you live here?” And he goes, “Well, yeah, I live here, but I’m renting, so it’s not my house. I don’t feel like I have the power to consent to a search of the house.” And I said, “Well, you do. Legally, you do if you live here.” And then he says, “Well, my roommates aren’t here. And I wouldn’t want to have the police come in my house if my roommates aren’t here to give their consent as well.” it’s reasonable. But at the same time, I tell Mark, “Hey, we can go in your house, and I can search,” but you can tell me, “Hey, I don’t want you to search here. I don’t want you to search here. That’s fine too. We can do that.” And basically, I’m just trying to see how cooperative Mark is going to be. And Mark is feigning cooperation again, I’ve caught him in lies already. So I go, “Hey, Mark, how many guns are in the house?” And he goes, “There might be a few.” I said, “Okay, who do these guns belong to?” And he goes, “Well, they belong to Andy.” And I said, “Well, where are they?” They’re in a storage room that we all use for storage here, the four of us. And I don’t have a key to that room. It’s dead bolted.

Yeardley:  Who are the four people living there?

Dan:  So we’ve got Mark and his girlfriend Dana, and we’ve got Andy and his girlfriend Brittany, and they’re all four renting this house.

Dave:  Had you already looked up Mark and Andy’s CCH.

Yeardley:  Which is a criminal computerized history?

Dan:  Yeah. I had looked up Mark’s local record and Andy’s local record. Mark had nothing. Mark had moved here from out of state, so he’d only been in town for about a year. No police contact. And Andy had, like, a DUI.

Yeardley:  DUI.

Dan:  Yeah, but nothing that would set off alarm bells for me.

Yeardley:  Not of this nature.

Dan:  No burglary, no robbery, no history of assault, false info to police, drug charges, none of that stuff that I would typically associate with this type of criminal activity. So again, I asked Mark, I go, “Hey, man. Let’s go inside the house, and let’s just look around and be consensual.” And Mark goes, “Don’t you need a warrant?” And he lunges for the door to go inside.

Yeardley:  Is the door fully closed now?

Dan:  It’s fully closed. And we’re standing on the front porch of his house, and he’s a foot or two away, and he lunges with his hand to try to open the door. And basically, I think he’s trying to escape. And he’s told me there are guns in the house. So, I grab Mark and I spin him around and put him in handcuffs and tell him, “Hey, man, until I figure out everything that’s going on here, you’re going to be detained.”

[Break 1]

Dan:  So, I handcuffed Mark, let him know, “Hey, man, you’re not free to leave, and we’re not going anywhere for a little bit.” I said, “Who else is in the house?” He goes, “My girlfriend’s here, but Andy is not here. I’m expecting him home at some point. And Andy’s girlfriend would be with him, Brittany”

 Again, I go, “Hey, man, we talked about the Miranda rights. You’re good with that?” He goes, “Yeah, I totally understand.” He asked me, “Hey, can I put on some shoes?” He was barefoot. I said, “Yeah, we can grab you some shoes.” I want to talk to your girlfriend, Dana. He goes, “You can open the door.” And I said, “Okay.” And he shouts, “Dana, the police are downstairs they want to talk to you.” Dana comes downstairs. I asked Detective Kyle, can you walk Mark over to your car and just hang out with him on the side of the street, like by the sidewalk.”

Yeardley:  So Mark doesn’t hear what Dana has to say.

Dan:  I want to separate him, and I don’t want him basically looking at her, her looking at him and him giving her subtle nonverbal cues of, “Shut up. Don’t say anything.” I want a sterile environment where I can talk to Dana and kind of gauge, “Is she going to be honest with me?”

Dave:  When you don’t do the separation properly, you get a lot of the suspect hears the detective’s question, and the witness that’s being asked the question. Before they can answer, you have the suspect saying, “Tell him how I got the knife and the watch from the tweaker who was walking down the street.”

Yeardley:  So now they’re teed up to what they should say.

Dave:  Right.

Yeardley:  Dan, you still have not gotten inside the house yet.

Dan:  I’ve got maybe a foot on the threshold, and Dana is now standing there.

Yeardley:  And do you still need permission from Mark or now, do you have a level of exigency that will allow you to get into the house?

Dan:  I didn’t feel like I had exigent circumstances at that point. At this point, I’m just hoping for cooperation, because A, the warrant is going to take me a long time to write.

Yeardley:  Because there’s so much stuff you’re looking for.

Dan:  And it’s just I’m going to have to go back to the office.

Dave:  Leave people at the scene to secure it, clear out the house.

Yeardley:  It’s a thing, and you got to get the judge to sign it, etc., etc.

Dan:  Yeah. The easiest thing for me to do at this point is to get consent. And so, I’m really kind of downplaying everything and being super chill. I haven’t been aggressive with Mark. The most aggression that I’d shown Mark was I grabbed him by the arm and spun them around so I could put handcuffs on him. But now we’re, like, totally chill. So, Mark’s out by the car with Detective Kyle and Detective Jeff, and I’m talking to Dana at the front door, and I said, “Hey, have you seen Mark show up at the house with any property in the last few days?” And she goes, “Yeah, Mark showed up at the house with a flat screen TV about four or five days ago.” I said, “What’d you think about that?” And she goes, “I thought it was kind of weird because Mark can’t afford a TV like that.” And I said, “Well, did you ask any questions?” She goes, “No, I didn’t want to ask.” And I’m like, “Okay.” Because, plausible deniability. If I don’t know anything, then my conscience is clear.

Yeardley:  Also, there may be a fear factor for her, who knows? If Mark is aggressive, she might be like, “Yeah, it’s just better I don’t get into it.”

Dan:  It’s funny you bring that up, because the next thing she says to me is she goes, “I’m scared right now.” And I said, “Look, I understand that it’s probably uncomfortable to be talking on your front porch with a couple detectives and your boyfriend standing over there and handcuffs, I get that. If you have nothing to do with this stuff, then you’re not in trouble. All I’m asking for is a little cooperation from you guys. We can expedite this process.” And she’s like, “Okay, okay.” So, after I tell her that, I said, “Hey, you’re not in any trouble at this point.” And she goes, “Well, Mark and Andy showed up the other night with some guns too.” Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. I go, “Where are those guns right now?” And Dana says to me, “Well, they’re upstairs in a storage room that we have. It’s dead bolted.” Okay, “What else have you seen that they showed up with?” Dana says, “I’ve seen a watch, I’ve seen a knife, I’ve seen some coins. This is all property that I know that’s been stolen from Gene and Dorothy’s house.” And I said, “Hey, would you mind if we came inside and we started searching the house?” And she goes, “Well, I don’t have a problem with it if Mark doesn’t care.” Case law has kind of changed over the years.

 Like, I used to be able to, I could just kind of, like, remove Mark from the area and ask Dana directly, “Hey, can I come in and search the house?” If Mark said, “No, absolutely not.” You’re not searching the house, but he’s not present, then I could just get consent from one person. Oftentimes this happens, officers abuse the rule and it gets shoved back down our throat, and the rule changes. So in this case, I’ve got Mark and Dana on scene. I need to make sure both are on board with me coming in. And again, I just say, “Hey, I’m looking for some cooperation here.” Dana says, “I don’t have a problem with you coming inside the house.” So I walk back out to Mark, who’s street side in handcuffs, and I go, “Hey, man, are you starting to get on board here?” And he’s like, “Yeah.” And I said, “Look, let’s not make it any more difficult than it has to be. Are you going to be cool if I take those handcuffs off of you?” And he goes, “Yep, I’ll be chill.”

 Again, I go down the road with Mark about consent, and he goes, “I will allow you to go inside. You can search certain areas of the house, but there are other areas that I don’t want you to search and that includes Andy and Brittany’s room.” And I said, “That’s totally reasonable.” So, I have Dana and Mark. They both sign the consent form. So, I walk Mark into the residence. Dana and Mark have a seat on the couch after we search the couch. Because I want to make sure that they’re not sitting on the guns. People stash guns in seat cushions, things like that. And I sit them down there and Mark tells me, “Upstairs in my room, the television’s up there, and there’s a shotgun up in my room.” And so, we walk up toward the room. I don’t let him go in first. I go in, I look at the TV it matches the serial number that I’m looking for. And I go over into the other corner of the room, and there’s like a framed Bob Marley poster leaning up against the wall. And behind that poster is the shotgun. I clear the shotgun to make the shotgun safe.

Yeardley:  So the thing was loaded.

Dan:  Yeah. And I walk downstairs with the television and the shotgun and have Mark sit on the couch again. And I said, “Hey, when are you expecting, Andy?” And Mark says, “He should be home any minute, but he’s not going to talk to you. He doesn’t like the police. He’s not going to be cooperative at all.” Okay, well, I’ll be the judge of that. It’s not like you’ve been super cooperative either. You just keep lying to me about stuff. And Mark is just sticking to this story about the random tweaker who’s just handing out property. As I’m talking to Mark, I get a text message, and it’s from Detective Jeff, who’s kind of hanging out with Dana over in one corner of the room. And I’ve got Mark in the other corner with me and Detective Kyle. And I get a text message, and it just says, “More information from the girl, Dana.” So I bring Dana outside, and I go, “What do you want to tell me?” And she goes, “Look, I was upstairs a few days ago when Mark and Andy left the house. We’d all been drinking, and several minutes later, Mark and Andy come back to the house, and they’ve got stuff in their hands.”

Yeardley:  All is loot.

Dan:  Yeah. And she goes, “Where’d that stuff come from?” And they said, “A house nearby.”

Yeardley:  Really nearby.

Dan:  I mean, you could kick a soda can to the house. While I’m talking to Dana, Andy and Brittany pull up to the house.

Yeardley:  Are you guys in unmarked cars? Because one would guess if you were in marked cars, they would just keep driving.

Dan:  Yeah, we’re in on mark cars. So, Andy and Brittany get out of the car. I introduce myself. I tell Andy, “Hey, let’s go have a chat.” I’m thinking that just on the statements that I’ve gotten from Dana and Mark, Andy’s involved in this. So, I’m going to ask him some questions. I mirandize him. I said, “Hey, just hang out here with these detectives for a little bit.”

Yeardley:  And what do you do with Brittany?

Dan:  She just goes in and sits on the couch inside. So, all four of us are kind of inside at this point. I grab Mark again, and I go, “Let’s go upstairs.” We go up to his room, where I found the shotgun and the television, and Mark sits down on the bed, and I just tell him, “Hey, man, this whole thing about the tweaker bullshit, the best thing for you to do at this point is to start being honest, and help me get property back to the rifle owner.” And he’s like, “Okay, okay.” The other night, I was out watering the grass at about 11:30 at night, and I saw Andy come through the arborvitaes that separate me and Gene and Dorothy’s house. There’s a row of arborvitaes, tall arborvitaes, like 15 feet tall, that separate the houses. It’s kind of a natural fence. Mark says, “I see Andy come through the arborvitaes and he’s carrying, look like a big bag, which I’m guessing is the quilt, stuffed full of items. Andy goes into the house, he comes back out, he goes back through the arborvitaes, and then he brings more property over, including a television.”

Yeardley:  So Mark is totally distancing himself from any of this.

Dan:  Yeah. Mark tells me, he goes, “Hey, look, man, I had nothing to do with this. Andy is going back and forth between our house and the neighbor’s house, and he’s just bringing property over. This was all Andy’s idea.” And I said, “Well, did you help at all?” And he goes, “Well, I never went in the house, but I did help bring some property over. Andy handed it to me through a window.” Well, I’m thinking to myself, “How do you get a 47-inch television out a window?” You don’t. You have to open the door. So, they opened the back door, and they had free reign of this house. These hedges, the arborvitaes created kind of a barrier. Anybody else would not be able to see into the backyard of that house at all or the side yard.

Yeardley:  Privacy.

Dan:  Privacy. But that’s privacy for burglars too. Once you get into the backyard, no one can see what you’re doing. Mark and Andy were completely shielded from anyone’s prying eyes. Mark and Andy knew that Gene and Dorothy had been out of town because they hadn’t seen their car in the driveway for days.

Yeardley:  What was the point of entry?

Dan:  Initial point of entry was a damaged window on the backside of the house. Mark and Andy, well, if you ask Mark, only Andy. Andy was able to kind of shimmy this window up so he could gain entry. And then he went to the back door, and he just opened the back door.

Yeardley:  So it’s all Andy’s fault according to Mark.

Dan:  It’s all Andy’s idea. It’s all Andy’s fault. Even though that Mark now admits, “Okay, I helped.”

Yeardley:  And is Andy cooperative at all?

Dan:  Andy’s not uncooperative. And remember, Mark has told me, “Andy doesn’t like police.” And I said, “Well, hey, were you expecting the police to show up at your house?” And he goes, “Oh, totally. I thought you guys would actually be here within two days of it happening.”

Yeardley:  Mark says this.

Dan:  Mark says this to me. Tells me, “You knew what you were doing was wrong.” And if Mark truly didn’t go in Gene and Dorothy’s house, he’s still guilty of burglary.

Yeardley:  Tell me about that.

Dan:  It’s a conspiracy. He’s a conspirator in a burglary. So, if Andy is handing property to mark through the window or through a door, even though Mark does not enter the house, he is still committing burglary.

Yeardley:  Okay.

Dan:  So I leave Mark sitting there, and now I’m going to talk to Andy. He goes, “Man, I will fully cooperate with you.” And I said, “Do I have consent to search your house?” And he goes, “I’ll sign whatever you want. You can search.” And I said, “Everything.” And he goes, “Maybe not everything.” I’m like, “Okay, well, I’m here to recover property.” Again, I don’t want to have to write a search warrant.

Yeardley:  But I want listeners to know that the reason you don’t want to write the search warrant is not because you’re not willing to put the work in. I happen to know that’s not who you are as a person, but it hinders the process of this investigation. It slows everything way, way down.

Dan:  Yeah. The easiest avenue at this point is to really get everybody on board. This is my first conversation with Andy also. So, I’ve got to build some trust and some rapport with Andy. So, I get Andy and Brittany to sign the consent form as well. And Andy tells me, he goes, “Okay, so this is what happened.” He says, Mark approaches him last week and says, “Hey, man, I’m going to be short on rent. I need a 100 bucks for rent.” And Andy’s like, “Dude, 100 bucks isn’t that much. We should be able to come up with a 100 bucks.”

Yeardley:  Does he mean legally come up with 100 bucks?

Dan:  Yeah, Andy’s like, “100 bucks is nothing. Like we can get 100 bucks, according to Andy.” Mark says, “Well, you know, those neighbors are out of town. We could go steal whatever we want.” And Andy’s like, “I don’t think that’s a great idea.” Dude, it’s a 100 bucks. We don’t need to be breaking into people’s houses. This is according to Andy. He goes, “Mark did it anyway and I agreed to help him.” And so, they went over to Gene and Dorothy’s house. Now, Andy is putting both of them there, and they found a window on the backside of the house, the west side of the house in the backyard. They said the window was damaged, had a crack in it, and the seal on it wasn’t very good. So, they just kind of muscled it up and were able to gain entry into the house. Andy says, “Both of us went into that house. Mark wasn’t just hanging out on the outside.”

Dave:  Did they both go in through the same window?

Dan:  They did. So, Andy goes on to tell me. He goes, “Hey, yeah. So, we just started walking through the house. We noticed a television in the living room.” We said, “We’re going to take that.”” They went into the master bedroom. There was a gun cabinet in the master bedroom that had one rifle in it. They snagged the rifle. They look in the master closet, and there’s some more guns in the master closet. So, they grab them all. They have the quilt. They start grabbing jewelry out of jewelry boxes. They go into the kitchen. They find the silverware. This is over several trips.

Yeardley:  What time of day?

Dan:  This is about 11:30, 12 o’clock at night. And they make several trips back and forth between their house and Gene and Dorothy’s and clean them out. And I show Andy the picture that Cliff had shown me of the silverware, and I go, “Hey, does that look familiar?” And he goes, “Yeah, that looks familiar. And I’ll tell you exactly where I pawned it.” Later I confirm through my database, yes, Andy has pawned some items too. Andy tells me, “Hey, I was with Mark when he pawned that knife and the Citizen Eco-Watch, which confirms everything that those two pawn shop guys had told me that, Andy was in there kind of acting a little nervous, but Mark was cool as a cucumber. And I go, “Who owns all the guns that you guys have here in the house?” Andy goes, “I don’t know. I don’t own any of them.” I said, “That’s funny, because Mark told me that you owned all of them.” Andy goes, “Yeah, that’s not true. I don’t own any of the guns in the house.” I go, “All right.” Now Andy is crying. Andy doesn’t seem like somebody who’s never going to be cooperative with the police. I can tell that Andy is like, “Oh, shit, I’m in trouble.”

Yeardley:  Do you ever find out how Andy and Mark know each other? Are they old friends from childhood? What’s the dynamic here?

Dan:  The girlfriends were friends, and that’s how Andy and Mark met up, is Dana and Brittany were friends. And so I said, “Well, where’s the rest of this stuff in the house?” And Andy says, “It’s in the dead bolted room upstairs.” And I go, “All right, let’s grab the key.”

Yeardley:  As in the battering ram?

Dan:  No, they’ve got a key, and so they provide it.

Yeardley:  Oh, like an actual house key.

Dan:  Yeah. We go up into the upstairs dead bolted room. We find the quilt. We find five guns. We find boxes of ammunition that were missing from Gene and Dorothy’s house. We find gun cleaning kits that were missing from Gene and Dorothy’s house that they weren’t even aware were missing. This is Andy saying, “Yeah, we stole this stuff, this stuff.” And he’s pointing out everything. The two fishing reels. We find those up there. Now I’ve got. Andy and Mark are both kind of pointing out, like, “Okay, yeah, that’s stolen. That’s stolen.” Now I feel like I’ve got cooperation. They both know, like, “We’re in some shit.” Then they tell us about some other stuff that they’d taken, like some coins, but they had spent the coins. They were dollar coins, and they’d taken about 50 of them.

Yeardley:  I don’t suppose they saved it for the $100 of rent that was owed.

Dan:  No. Before I leave, I tell these guys, I’m like, “Hey, am I going to find out about any other burglaries you guys have committed?” They’re adamant, “No. No way, nothing.” All right. In the back of my mind, there’s this rifle that Cliff says, “That’s not part of our stuff.” And Andy and Mark are saying, “We thought we had taken it from Gene and Dorothy’s house. There’s just this rifle, this mystery rifle out there now. In talking to Mark and Andy and trying to gain their cooperation over the time that I was out there, I was out there for about 2 hours. I had told him, “Hey, the more cooperative you are, the more apt I am to write you a citation in lieu of custody. Instead of taking you to jail, I will write you a citation for burglary and theft and whatever other charges apply.” They’ve also committed theft by stealing from the pawn shops. They’re pawning stolen property that doesn’t belong to them, and they’re taking money.

Yeardley:  Why would you just write them a citation with the expectation that they would show up for their day in court down the line?

Dan:  The reason why is I know how our jail operates, and I know that they are likely to be released within hours. They probably wouldn’t stay in jail overnight. They would probably get released because they don’t have local criminal records.

Dave:  It’s important to note those releases are done by the court. There are court officers at the jail who are in charge of release and retaining custody. So, this is a case where the court officers inside the jail make a determination when you lodge somebody, whether or not they’re going to hold onto them and give them an actual bed or cut them loose within 12 hours or 24 hours.

Dan:  So at this point, I tell Mark and Andy that said, “Hey, part of this, me cutting you a citation, is you are going to meet me down at my police station. You’re going to follow me down there right now, and I’m going to fingerprint you.” To me, it’s hopefully a deterrent, like, “Oh, we got the whole meal deal.” We got fingerprinted. I did take them over to the jail and get them mug shotted. So, I ran them through the whole thing. I truly believed they’d become more cooperative. It was a judgment call on my part, and it’s a mistake that I made.

[Break 2]

Yeardley:  So, Dan, you don’t book Mark and Andy into the jail. You put them through the works down to the police station, and then you just issue them a citation, thinking that putting them through mugshots and fingerprints, that all that will give them pause, but it doesn’t.

Dan:  Right. So here we go. So, they come down. I run them through everything, and then I get ahold of Gene, Dorothy, and Cliff, and they come down to the police station.

Yeardley:  And in your custody is just Andy and Mark, not Brittany and Dana as well.

Dan:  Brittany and Dana stay at the house. And so, Gene and Dorothy and Cliff come down. I show them all the property. They start picking out what’s theirs, and we get quite a bit of the property back. And so, there are some guns that I recovered that Gene and Dorothy and Cliff, they’re like, “Those aren’t our guns.”

Yeardley:  And those were in this locked storage room as well.

Dan:  Yep. And so I’m like, “All right. I know something’s coming. So, the next day, I start going to pawn shops in the morning and trying to round up property. I find a necklace and some earrings at this gold and coin shop. I call up Dorothy and I said, “Hey, can you describe your earrings?” And she goes, “Yeah, there’s kind of a leaf design on the earrings, and they’re Black Hills Gold.”

Yeardley:  What’s that?

Dan:  Black Hills Gold is a specific type of gold that I think has a little coloration to it. And so, I asked the gold shop owner, “Are these Black Hills Gold?” And he goes, “Yep, those are Black Hills Gold.” I snag them, write him a receipt, list him as a victim, because he’s a victim. Then I go over to this secondhand store. And I find the silverware and some China and a vase. It was a Fenton vase. The silverware and the China and the Fenton vase Andy had sold to this antique shop for $100. And $55 was for the silverware. We pull those items from the floor because I’m going to give them back to Gene and Dorothy. And then Dorothy calls me and she says, “Hey, I think one of those rifles that we didn’t identify actually might belong to us.” I think that was a rifle that was given to my husband by his father. So, it’s like an heirloom rifle piece. So, I just take note of that. Obviously, I’m going to need some sort of documentation. I’m not going to just take their word for it. So, I’m back at my station. I’ve got a bunch of evidence and stolen items that I’ve recovered. And a patrol officer walks into the evidence room. And I’ve got a couple of these rifles out that I’m taking a look at, and I’m photographing serial numbers and identifying marks on him. And he goes, “Hey, that gun right there matches a gun that I just took a burglary report on.” And I go, “Oh, really? Where’d your burglary occur at?” And he gives me an address. Mark and Andy lived on a corner lot at an intersection. Gene and Dorothy lived just to the south of them. They were the next door to the south. And this Officer Beau, who talks to me about this rifle, he goes, “My burglary happened at the address directly west of Andy and Mark’s house.”

Yeardley:  Don’t be neighbors with Andy and Mark.

Dan:  Right. So now I’m like, “You little–“

Yeardley:  Shits.

Dan:  Yeah, you lied to me again. And now, I’m not so nice. So, Gene and Dorothy get their house broken into in the last week of July. Beau takes a report from this guy named Vince who lives to the west of Mark and Andy. And Vince tells him that he’s been missing these rifles for a couple of weeks and that he saw unmarked cars and some activity at Mark and Andy’s house the day before. I call Vince, and I go, “Hey, man, just give me the rundown of you’re missing some guns.” And he goes, “Yeah, I’m missing four guns. A couple of them are shotguns. I’m missing a muzzleloader rifle.” So, a muzzleloader rifle is you load the propellant and the projectile through the barrel.

Yeardley:  Like a musket.

Dan:  Like a musket. And so he goes, “I’m missing that, and I’m missing another gun.” Like, “All right. How long you been missing them?” He goes, “You know, they were in my room and I’ve been missing those since the first part of the month. But I just figured my mom had secured him somewhere else in the house. And I just never thought anything of it until I saw you guys at the house the day before. And everybody in the neighborhood had heard that Gene and Dorothy, their house had been broken into.”

Yeardley:  So Vince sees you on Mark and Andy’s lawn and goes, “Hmm.”

Dan:  Yeah. So before Vince calls the police, Vince goes over. Remember I wrote Andy and Mark a ticket? And so, they were home the evening after I left. After they came down to the police station, got mugshotted and fingerprinted. They went right back home. Vince puts two and two together and goes, “I’m going to go talk to Mark and Andy.” So, he goes over to the house and Mark and Andy are like, “Nope. Have no idea what you’re talking about. If we stole anything, I mean, we’d be in jail, right?” [Yeardley chuckles] So they use it as kind of an alibi. The fact that I wrote him a ticket and that they weren’t in jail, they used as an alibi for Vince’s burglary. I go through my pawn database. At first, I was only aware of Gene and Dorothy’s burglary. So, I was looking at a certain window of time. I expand that window and now I see, “Oh, Andy has pawned this muzzleloader rifle at another pawn shop.”

Yeardley:  Weeks before Gene and Dorothy get burgled.

Dan:  Yeah. There’s a photo of the rifle, the muzzleloader rifle. I send it on to Vince and he goes, “Yep, that’s mine.” I’m like, “Okay.” Now I’ve got Mark and Andy for another burglary. So Vince tells me, “You know, there are four rifles.” And if you walk by my house. So, it’s kind of an l shaped house, Vince’s house. And if you walked down the sidewalk, Vince’s room was like 5 feet from the sidewalk. And if you look through the window in his room on the opposite wall, you could see he had guns in a little thing. Vince didn’t have air conditioning in his house. It’s the middle of the summer. He often left his windows open. And he goes, “I’m sure that somebody just crawled through the window and snagged my guns and disappeared.” So, I grabbed Officer Beau and I grabbed Detective George. I said, “Hey, I got to go out to this house and have another conversation with these guys. But they’re going to jail today.” And they go, “Okay.” So, we all go out to the house. I knock on the front door, and Mark answers the door, and he goes, “What are you doing here?”


 I’m like, “What do you think I’m doing here, Mark?” [ Yeardley laughs] And everybody’s there. Mark and Andy are both there, and so are Brittany and Dana. So, I got all four of them there, and I said, “Hey, I’m going to advise both of you guys of your rights again.” And I read them their Miranda rights. They both say, “Yes, that they understand.” And I said, “Anything you guys want to tell me about my visit yesterday? Anything that we talked about, anything you guys want to be a little forthcoming with?” And they’re like, “No, I have no idea.” They’re just playing stupid. So, we’ve got this mystery rifle bit. Cliff has said, “Yeah, that rifle doesn’t belong to us.” That was the rifle that Mark had pawned way in the beginning of this. So, I asked Mark about that I go, “About that rifle, you want to talk about that?” He goes, “Well, I got it from him.” And he points over to Andy.

Yeardley:  Gee whiz.

Dan:  And I look at Andy and Andy’s like, “That’s fucking bullshit.” And I said, “Did that rifle ever belong to you? Was it ever in your possession?” He says, “Absolutely not.” Now they’re, like, going against each other.

Yeardley:  So you ask Andy, “Did that rifle ever belong to you?” And he says, “Hell, no.”

Dan:  Yeah. And he’s like, “No, that rifle did not belong to me.” I go, “All right, Andy let’s go have a chat.” So, Andy says, “Let’s go chat in the backyard.” All right. They don’t want to do out in front, because all the neighbors are going to talk. So, Andy and I are in the backyard. Mark is hanging out with Beau and George with the girlfriends. And so I go, “Start talking, Andy. I need to know.” And he goes, “Hey, man. I don’t know where that rifle came from that Mark was pawning. I have no idea where that came from.” And I said, “I don’t believe you. You’re lying to me. You guys lied to me yesterday, and you’re lying to me again today.” And I’m about out of patience and Andy starts crying. And I said, “How many guns are in the house?” And he goes, “At least two more.” [ Yeardley chuckles] And I’m like, “Dude, I was just here yesterday.” [ Yeardley laughs]

Dave:  They’re like children. You confess to what you know your parents got the goods on you, and the rest, you’re like, “Maybe they won’t find out.”

Dan:  Yeah. And I go, “Okay, where are these guns at, Andy?” And he goes, “They’re in the crawlspace upstairs. You guys didn’t check there yesterday.” And I said, “Well, did. Did you guys point it out?” Remember we talked about the consent searching certain areas? And he goes, “Yeah, we just– sorry. I’m sorry I lied to you.” So then I go, “Hey, Andy, I’m just curious.” You know Mark’s Facebook profile picture? It’s you two guys firing guns. I had asked you about that the other day, and you said that was taken months ago when you guys were down in California and you guys went out shooting. And he goes, “Yeah, I wasn’t really honest about that either.” I said, “When was that taken?” And he goes, “The day after we stole the guns.” The day after you stole the guns, you guys went out shooting? And he goes, “Yeah.” And I said, “Well, I know that’s a lie too.” [Yeardley laughs] And he goes, “How’s that?” And I said, “Well, I showed your neighbor Vince the photo on Facebook of you guys shooting. And Vince told me that both of those guns belonged to him. And I know when his house got broken into. So, you’re lying about that too still.” And he goes, “Okay, yeah, that was a few weeks ago that went out shooting. And yeah, I think those guns may have came from Vince’s house.”

Yeardley:  So Andy was saying when he said the day after the burglary, he was referring to the burglary at Gene and Dorothy’s house.

Dan:  Yeah. Because they didn’t want to admit to two burglaries.

Yeardley:  Even though you already have him on the hook for another burglary.

Dan:  I do.

Yeardley:  They’re just hoping you might have forgotten in the last three minutes.

Dan:  Yeah. And I go, “Okay, Andy. Let’s start from the beginning.” He goes, “All right.” He’s crying. He asked me, “What kind of charges am I looking at?” And I said, “Right now we’ve got two counts of burglary one, and two counts of theft one, and some other ancillary charges that are related to all the activity, you guys selling stolen property and a lot of stuff, but you’re going to have multiple charges, and at least four are felonies.” And he’s like, “Aha.” Drops his head. And I’m like, “Start being honest, man.” And he goes, “Well, is it going to do me any good to be honest with you?” And I said, “Well, it’s not going to hurt you more than the position you’re already in right now. You know, I just stress to him, I’m like, “Showing the court and the DA and the judge and whatever that you’re being cooperative and that you’re actively assisting me in getting property back to victims carries some weight.” And he goes, “All right. So, Andy tells me around the 4th July weekend, he’s in the backyard, and he sees Mark come from Vince’s property, and he’s carrying four guns.” [chuckles]

Yeardley:  God.

Dan:  I go, “Well, how’d you feel about that?” And he goes, “I was pissed, man. I was pissed. Like, that’s just stupid. Why are you stealing stuff from other people?” And I go, “Okay, so if you’re so against burglary, why did you agree to participate in the burglary of Gene and Dorothy’s house?” And he goes, “Well, I was drunk.” I’m like, “Oh, all it takes is a little alcohol for you to–“

Yeardley:  [chuckles] Your moral code goes completely out the window?

Dan:  Yeah. So, I ask Andy again. I go, “How many times did you go into Gene and Dorothy’s house?” And he goes, “Probably three times.” So, as I’m talking with Andy, I’m asking him about other, like, “Hey, we’re still missing some stolen property.” And he goes, “Honestly, I don’t know where all that stuff is.” All right, we go back inside. I talked to all four of them. I said, “Hey, I want consent to search your house, but I want consent to search the whole thing. Every nook and cranny, your crawlspace. I’m going into everything. Everybody okay with that?” And they’re like, “Yeah.” And I go, “Well, let’s sign the paper. And now I get some resistance.” Well, do we have to sign the paper? And I said, “Yeah, it’s part of this.”

Yeardley:  I’m not going to take your word for it.

Dan:  You guys are all liars. And are you going to come back when we go to court and say we never gave him consent? So, I have him sign the consent form again. And now I’ve got keys to the castle.

[Break 3]

Dan:  Start searching, I find a shotgun barrel that has been sawed-off. A sawed-off shotgun in my state, in pretty much every state in the nation, is illegal. It’s another felony. I said, “Hey, let’s talk about the sawed-off shotgun.” And both of them are, like, kind of looking at each other. And I look over at Andy, and he goes, “Mark did it. And I watched him do it.” [Yeardley chuckles] And Mark says, “That’s bullshit. I don’t even know how to saw off a shotgun.” And I’m like, “Oh, it’s pretty easy. You just grab a hacksaw and you saw through it.” [Yeardley laughs] And he’s like, “Yeah, I don’t know anything about that.” I go, “Okay. All right.” I pull Mark aside and I go, “Let’s talk about that Facebook picture.” And he goes, “Yeah, I lied about that too. That was taken a few weeks ago.” They’re just lying about everything. And so, I said, “Where did you guys go shooting at?” Mark describes an area that all local law enforcement is familiar with. It’s a rural area out this two-lane highway. Everybody goes up there and shoots. I’ve been on multiple car chases out there. I’ve recovered a lot of stolen cars out there. It’s just an area where a lot of people go to recreate but a lot of ne’er-do-wells go out to commit crimes also.

Dave:  We get dead bodies dumped out there too.

Dan:  We do. So, in my conversation with Mark, he asked me, he goes, “Well, what did Andy tell you?” And I said, “That’s not how this works. I want to hear your version from soup to nuts. And I will tell you that the picture that Andy is painting isn’t great for you, Mark.” So, Mark goes on to tell me. He goes, “Well, I was in the backyard, and I saw Andy come over the fence with four rifles. And I asked him what he was doing. And Andy said that he had broken into the neighbor’s house and that these guns were there.

Yeardley:  And that would be Vince’s house.

Dan:  That’s Vince’s house. And I’m like, “Oh, my God, these guys.”

Yeardley:  I’m exhausted by the lying.

Dan:  Yeah, they just point the finger at each other, and that’s what they do.

Paul:  No honor among thieves.

Dan:  Yeah, but the thing is, I’ve got both of them pawning guns from that burglary. They both took part in it. They were both aware of it. They can say whatever they want, but they’re both profiting from that burglary. So remember, I had asked Andy, “How many more guns are in the house?” And he said, “There are two more.” It’s another measurement of honesty question. I asked Mark, I go, “How many more guns are in the house?” And he goes, “There aren’t any more guns in the house.”

Yeardley:  [laughs] God.

Dan:  So Mark had told me, he goes, “You know what? If you want to know the truth about Vince’s house, you should just ask my girlfriend.” And I said, “Oh, I will.” [Yeardley chuckles] And so I walk Mark back inside. I’m kind of removing these folks one at a time to talk to him in private. And I grab his girlfriend, Dana. I take Dana outside and we chat. And I said, “Do you know anything about this burglary that happened to your other neighbor?” And she’s like, “No.” “Did you ever see anybody coming back over the fence? Because Mark says that he saw Andy coming over the fence.” And Mark says, “My girlfriend will corroborate that.” She’s like, “No, I never saw anybody coming back over the fence.” I mean, again, the plausible deniability. She just says no to everything. She’s not at any of the pawn shops. I don’t have any proof that Dana and Brittany are involved in this at all, other than being really naive.

Yeardley:  How old are they, Dana and Brittany?

Dan:  All these folks are in their early 20s.

Yeardley:  Oh, young. Okay.

Dan:  And so Dana goes on to tell him. She’s like, “I’m really worried about Mark. I think he’s going to kill himself because he’s facing these felonies and that he’s going to feel like his life is over.” And she says, “The only thing that I can think of that was going through Mark’s head when he was committing these crimes is that he was just trying to provide for me.”

Yeardley:  Huh.

Dave:  She’s in on it.

Yeardley:  What makes you say that, Dave?

Dave:  I think it’s, the revisionist history type stuff where you’re like, “Oh, I could be implicated in this because I didn’t report this burglary, even though I know that’s what was going on.” Just the girlfriends are trying to get as far away from this as they can, and I understand that. But as an investigator, I’m like, “Huh. You guys telling me you never talked about this.”

Dan:  Right. And I’m like, “Ah.” So, I go back in and I grab Andy again. Like this is like just musical chairs. I’m just pulling people in and out. And I talked to Andy, and then I talked to Mark again, and I’m like, “All right, let’s wrap this up.” And Mark and Andy say, “Okay, there are guns in the crawlspace.” So we go in the crawlspace, find two shotguns in the crawlspace, and both of these shotguns match the ones that are in the Facebook profile picture that Vince has already identified as those are mine. And so now I found those two. And as I’m upstairs documenting that stuff taking photographs, Detective George comes up to me and he goes, “Hey, Mark’s saying that you guys might find another gun or two under a mattress in one of the bedrooms.” [laughs]

Yeardley:  God.

Dan:  Again, Mark has said he doesn’t know anything about this sawed-off shotgun. So, I go lift the mattress, and what do I find? “Sawed-off shotgun.” The one that Mark directed Detective George, “Hey, there’s going to be another gun under this mattress.” It’s the sawed-off shotgun. He was telling me that he wasn’t aware of a sawed-off shotgun. He’s lying again.

Yeardley:  Do you think that Mark was going to sell this merchandise for money, or was it down to the sport? Because not everything had been pawned.

Dan:  I think Mark was going to eventually sell everything. I think the guns were probably fun for Mark for a little bit. I think Mark probably needed some money. I didn’t get any indication that Mark and Andy were typical drug addicts that I encounter in my caseload. I’ve got plenty of examples of heroin addicts that have $150 a day heroin habit that are stealing to feed that habit. That’s not Mark and Andy.

Paul:  The one thing along those lines is the sawed-off shotgun. Mark took the time to shorten the barrel, and then that was stored under the mattress, as if that was the gun that Mark wanted to be able to have access to. So, I wonder if he was looking at that as being something he would keep.

Dan:  Oh, yeah, I think for sure Mark was going to keep that gun. That’s just not a gun that’s easy to sell either. I mean, you could sell it on the street, but I didn’t have any indication that Mark was really dealing with the kind of black-market folk that we run into. Like, he didn’t know where a fence was. He wouldn’t have gone to a pawn shop if he knew where a fence was in our town.

Yeardley:  A fence is a?

Dan:  It’s typically a drug dealer.

Yeardley:  Okay, got it.

Dan:  So I say, “Hey, there’s one more room that needs to be searched that has a padlock on it.”

Yeardley:  Oh, you still haven’t gotten into even the padlock storage room.

Dan:  Yeah. And I go, “Hey, well, let’s open that thing up.” And they’re like, Really, do we have to?” I’m like, “Or I can just write a warrant.” And they’re like, “No, you go ahead.” I said, “What am I going to find in there?” And they’re like, “Ah, geez, we don’t want to admit to it.” Well, all right. They hand me the key, I open the padlock door. They have three little marijuana plants in there. [Yeardley chuckles] That’s what they were–

Yeardley:  That’s it. laughs]

Dan:  They didn’t want me to go in and find, like, these were, like, foot high. They’re juvenile marijuana plants in this room, and they’ve got a grow light in there. And I’m like, “Oh, this is like a huge growing operation.” You have three plants. [Yeardley chuckles] Oh, my God. You should see some of the grow operations that I’ve been in, that Paul’s been in, that Dave’s been in. It’s hundreds.

Dave:  I wanted to say, like, “You could have way more than this.”

Dan:  Yeah, this is amateur hour right here. “What are you guys doing?” [Dave laughs]

Yeardley:  And it’s nothing compared to the stolen gun charges you’re facing.

Dan:  Yeah. So, the other thing that’s in this room is there’s a suitcase on the floor. And I kind of nudge the suitcase, and there’s some weight to it. So, I open the suitcase. Inside the suitcase is a duffel bag. And inside the duffel bag is another bag. And inside that bag, I find the Bushnell spotting scope that was stolen from Gene and Dorothy’s house. So, I finally have that again. like, because they’ve lied to me so much. I’m just trying to mark all the boxes. Like, “Is there anything else? Like, where are the coins, guys? You guys have lied to me. Am I supposed to believe that you spent them?” And they’re like, “No, seriously. We did. We spent them.” I said, “Well, how’d you spend them?” “Well, we went to a bank, and we just changed them in, and we got cash.” All right. They tell me the bank. I end up going to the bank and confirming that it’s $50 and $1 coins. And all the coins are gone now, so I can’t get them back. They’re in circulation now.

 So at this point, I’ve got Andy and I’ve got Mark, and they’re looking at me like, “What now?” Well, now we’re going to jail. And so, I tell them both to stand up, and they’re like, “Dude, we cooperated.” And I said, “Bullshit. No, if this was yesterday, it would have been different if we could have got out in front of Vince’s burglary. But you guys have made life not fun for me and these victims. We’re past the point of citations.” So, I have the citations that I wrote Andy and Mark, and I just rip them up in front of them. And I said, “You guys can disregard the copies that I gave you yesterday. You guys are going to be lodged on all the charges today in our local jail.” And so, I take them to jail. In the meantime, after I send these guys to jail, over the next couple days, it’s me returning property to Vince and Gene and Dorothy.

 At one point, I get a call from Dana, and she says, “Hey, I need to tell you something. Over the 4th July weekend, Mark was with me the whole time.” And I said, “Okay, specifically when?” And Dana says, “Well, on the 4th July, we were together the whole night.” And I said, “Well, I need to remind you that Mark and Andy don’t say it happened on the 4th July. They say it happened over the 4th of July weekend. I understand what you’re trying to do is trying to provide him an alibi. It’s irrelevant at this point.” And she said, “Well, Brittany wants to talk to you too.” And I talked to Brittany, and Brittany says, “You need to come back out here.”

Yeardley:  Oh, my God.

Dan:  [chuckles] And so I go back out there, and Brittany had broken up with Andy at this point. Brittany, I think, had her head screwed on pretty straight. The second time I was out there, Brittany’s parents showed up. And Brittany’s dad was a hulk of a man. And I could tell that Brittany’s dad wanted to murder Andy and Mark. He didn’t interfere with anything. I could just tell he was really fired up, that his daughter had been brought into this situation by these two idiots. So, Brittany had broken up with Andy, and Mark had had to move out because Brittany’s dad owned the house.

Yeardley:  Oh.

Dan:  So Mark got kicked out of the house. Andy got kicked out of the house. Now it was just Brittany and Dana living at the house. And Brittany says, “Hey, we found some other stuff in the backyard.” And it was a hunting knife that was missing from Gene and Dorothy’s house. So, I confirmed with Cliff. Cliff says, “Yeah, that’s my dad’s hunting knife.” We got back as much of the stuff as possible, but not everything. And so in our town, on Facebook, we got a guy, Mike, who runs a Facebook page. I’m going to give you a shout out, Mike, because you do awesome work. He’s not affiliated with law enforcement, but he posts mugshots of people. There’s mugshots and then people will post, like, “Hey, my car got stolen. Here’s the police report number.” And they’ll give the license plate and a photo of the car. It’s kind of a community way of saying, like,–

Yeardley:  Community watch.

Dan:  Yeah, it’s like a neighborhood watch for our couple of cities. Mark got on there and decided he was going to badmouth Detective Dan.

Yeardley:  Oh.

Dan:  [laughs] So Mark posts this thing, and I wasn’t alerted to it. Our animal control officer, a guy named Brian, he points it out to me. He’s like, “Hey, man, you should check out this post.”

Yeardley:  How is Mark able to post anything on?

Dan:  He gotten out of jail.

Yeardley:  Yeah, but my question is, if Mike runs this website, anybody can post on it.

Dan:  If you’re part of the group, it’s a closed group, but you can get approved to be in the group. And Mark goes on this Facebook page to bitch about Detective Dan. And basically, he’s trying to find if there’s dirt on Detective Dan, and he calls me a liar and all these other things. So, I just saved that post, and I included it in my little case notes. And forwarded it onto the district attorney. But Mark and Andy both got probation. Because they didn’t really have records. I never had another interaction with Mark or Andy after this. I think Mark definitely moved back down to our neighboring state. Interestingly enough, Mark’s stepfather was a cop in the neighboring state. So, I had a conversation with his parents at some point in this process, and they were horrified at what he was doing. And they basically demanded, like, “Mark, the free ride is over. You’re moving back home, and you’re going to get a job” They were appropriately upset at Mark’s activities. As far as I know, Andy survived probation, never got arrested again, and is probably doing well. I’ll say this, in my interactions with Mark and Andy, Andy seemed more contrite and sorry for what he did. Mark made it a game, and I think Andy was lying out of fear. I think Mark was lying out of screw you.

Paul:  You know, assessing sort of that dynamic. The relationship between Mark and Andy. Mark is no question in my mind. He’s kind of the leader of those two. And the way that they committed the crime in Gene and Dorothy’s house, the use of the quilt, that’s where I was saying this sounds like an experienced burg. I bet Mark as a teenager probably was committing burglaries. And now he’s in this house. He sees victims of opportunity with his neighbors. You’ve got Dorothy and Gene, who are gone for vacation. It’s an easy target. You got Vince, whose rifles are in plain view with basically an unlocked window. Mark just can’t help himself. He’s taking advantage of that. And he’s got this patsy, Andy, that he’s able to use as an accomplice.

Yeardley:  So, Paul, given Dan’s description of Mark being a liar and a pretty proficient burglar, and he’s so young, he’s, like, in his early 20s. So my question is, “Do you think getting caught will turn Mark around?” Because he doesn’t seem to be particularly sorry for committing these crimes.

Paul:  Well, I think with his parents putting their thumb on him right after this, that’s going to cause him to pause. Andy probably was set on the straight line based on his interactions with Dan. He probably cleaned himself up, is scared to do anything else again. I think Mark is just biding his time. And then once he is no longer under the parent’s thumb and he’s out on his own again, the compulsion to commit these types of crimes, and it is a compulsion, will probably come again, and he likely will reoffend is my assessment.

Yeardley:  Thats what I was getting at, I guess, is that Mark doesn’t seem to feel like this was wrong as much as it was a game, that he lost this round. You guys always say there’s very little you can do about impulse control. So, you can get a restraining order. But if somebody is intent on violating that restraining order, there’s nothing a piece of paper can do. And so, if Mark doesn’t take this experience of participating and really sounds like orchestrating these two burglaries, if that doesn’t seem like, “Fuck, you know what?” That is a real lapse in judgment and get to the bottom of what drove him to that, then it seems as though the root of that compulsion is still alive. That would be my impression.

Paul:  There is a group of people within, particularly the financially motivated crimes, in which that is truly a compulsion. Some people do it out of need, but there are people that this is what they enjoy doing. [chuckles] And they’re not going to stop unless they are in custody or there’s some other life circumstance that prevents them from going out. They just enjoy it.

Yeardley:  What’s interesting though, is that everyone who has decided to commit the crime has decided that the rules don’t apply to me. And I’m going to set my own set of rules. I’m not going to stay within the boundaries that keep society functioning well.

Dan:  Yeah. We’ve talked about barriers to the fence numerous times with Paul. These are your neighbors. You see them every day. And Andy and Mark, both told me that they knew that Gene and Dorothy were out of town. But what if just Gene was out of town and Dorothy was staying at the house and Gene had taken the car? It’s 11:30 at night. Dorothy’s probably in bed. And Mark and Andy decide to break into that house. And the what if?

Yeardley:  Yeah.

Dan:  I think Andy would freak out. But I don’t know about Mark. Mark makes me scratch my head a little bit. Like, “What would Mark do if he was confronted?”

Dave:  Because Mark cares about his freedom more than anything else.

Dan:  Yeah. Of all the burglars and thieves that I’ve arrested over the years, and it’s hundreds. I don’t recall burglars and thieves burglarizing their neighbors. It just doesn’t happen very often.

Yeardley:  Because you’re so traceable.

Dan:  Right. You don’t burglarize your neighbors. You do it outside of your neighborhood. Mark and Andy only had two neighbors, one on the south side and one on the west side. And they burglarized both of them. I don’t know, it’s ballsy. The thing that I wanted touch on and we can all talk about this, but the interesting thing about both of these houses that got burglarized, there were shrubs and aspects of landscaping that shielded Mark and Andy from being seen by neighbors. So, Vince’s house, you can see in through the window, but there was a shrub that was pretty tall in front of that window. There was a space in between that shrub and the house where I believe Mark, I don’t believe Andy did it. I think Mark went into that house and shimmied up the wall, basically, and just kind of slinked his way into that room through that window. People, if you have shrubs that are high up by windows, think about those things. Cut them back a little bit so you can see if somebody was climbing in through a window, they’d be obvious. Don’t allow them concealment to gain entry to your house.

Dave:  Yeah. You don’t want your house to be friendly to a game of hide and seek.

Yeardley:  No.

Dave:  I was thinking about a nighttime burglary is one thing. In law enforcement, you get a lot of daytime burglaries, and there’s aspects to that. There’s reasons why. Neighborhoods are really quiet during the day, especially on weekdays. There’s an assumption at least years ago, before remote work really came into play, that most people are at work during the bankers’ hours during the day. The other aspect is that you see a trend of burglars that will walk up. They’ll have a utility-type vest on, and they’re walking through the neighborhood looking like a meter reader or somebody from public works. And you see these, especially now with ring and doorbell cameras, where they’re knocking or ringing the doorbell. They’re casing the place. They’re looking to see who’s going to answer the door. Oh, they’re home and they have some bullshit like, “I’m lost in the area and I’m a meter reader. Do you know where the street is? Or they ask for somebody who lives there, and it’s never somebody who lives there. Oh, I must be in the wrong place.”

 They got caught at the door, and they need a cover story. But you have these where you truly use the cover of daylight to look like you’re normal. And meter readers go into backyards all the time. So, we used to get calls from heads up neighbors going, “Huh, nah, you’re not a meter reader. They wear yellow vests, not green vests.” It’s really critical to have, if you’re in a neighborhood or a community like neighborhood watch that if you see something that looks suspicious, it’s nothing for you to call the police and say, “Hey, there’s a suspicious subject.” It’s one in the afternoon and this person keeps disappearing into backyards going down the street, and they keep knocking on doors. And meter readers don’t do that. I think something’s up. The police go out on those all the time, and it’s not a bother to us. It’s an area check. We’re looking for somebody who’s casing houses. So truly, like, if you’re seeing that kind of behavior in your neighborhood and your neighbor, just be aware of it. It could be a meter reader. It’s okay to call the police. We want you to.

Dan:  I think everybody nowadays should have a ring camera or some sort of doorbell camera that’s motion activated, has a speaker on it that you can interact with somebody without opening the door. They work great, but you have to be proactive in your own safety, unfortunately, and that’s just the reality of things. But there are affordable ways of doing that that can give you some peace of mind. You can be remotely alerted too. If you’re not even in town. You can get a motion activation and see in real time what’s going on, and you can watch it on your phone while it’s happening 1000 miles away.

Dave:  Even motion sensing lights are a deterrent. That’s another barrier. I have to walk through that light to get into this property to access it. Little things, alarms, sensors, all that stuff makes a difference in your home security.

Dan:  The other thing that I want touch on, if you have guns in your home, you need to secure your guns.

Yeardley:  put them in a locked cabinet or something.

Dan:  Yeah. They make affordable gun safes that you can’t just go up to and open the door and retrieve whatever’s inside. Like, let’s make it a little bit of an obstacle that a burglar has to overcome before they can just walk away with your guns. Mark went to Vince’s house and was in and out in less than a minute. Four guns gone in less than a minute. We got to do better than that.

Yeardley:  Wow. I love this case. I was sitting over here on my side of the table, and I could picture everything that was happening exactly as you were telling it. It’s such good work, Dan.

Dan:  Well, thank you.

Yeardley:  Thank you.

Dan:  They made it really easy on me.


Paul:  Yeah. But still, it was a good job. Good job, Dan.

Dave:  Nicely done.


Yeardley:  Small Town Dicks was created by Detectives Dan and Dave. The podcast is produced by Jessica Halstead and me, Yeardley Smith. Our senior editor is Soren Begin, and our editor are Christina Bracamontes and Erin Phelps. Our associate producers are the Real Nick Smitty and Erin Gaynor. Garry Scott is our executive producer, and Logan Heftel is our production manager. Our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell. And our social media maven is Monika Scott. It would make our day if you became a member of our Small Town Fam by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube at @smalltowndicks, we love hearing from you.

 Oh, our groovy theme song was composed by John Forrest. Also, if you’d like to support the making of this podcast, hop on over to, for a small subscription fee, you’ll find exclusive content you can’t get anywhere else. The transcripts of this podcast are thanks to SpeechDocs and they can be found on our website, Thank you SpeechDocs for this wonderful service. Small Town Dicks is an Audio 99 production. Small Town Fam, thanks for listening. Nobody is better than you.

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