LaPorte County busts burglary ring, victims get items returned - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

LaPorte County busts burglary ring, victims get items returned

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You hear a lot about burglaries this time of year. There is some good news for some burglary victims in LaPorte County. After a bust in Michigan City, some will be reunited with their valuables.

Technology is partly to thank.

Glen Lazzeri was in Florida, looking for his dream retirement home, when he got a call that his front door had been busted in. All his valuables had been taken from his home. "They even took a brand new Sharp 80-inch LED TV. Do you realize how big that is? They carried it down the steps and out through the garage, and they put it back in the original box it was in. So they had a lot of time," says Lazzeri.

Nearly 12 residential burglaries have recently been reported in Michigan City, LaPorte and Coolsprings Township. The crimes went unsolved until the tracking device on a stolen iPad led detectives to the residence of Nick Rife and his wife, Stephanie. There, detectives say they hit a gold mine of stolen stuff - thousands of dollars worth of items.

The stolen items were brought to the LaPorte County Sheriff's Department Wednesday. Victims had a chance to see if police found their stuff. As you can imagine, that can be a tough task.

Investigators have been able to narrow the items down by serial numbers listed on the items. Lead investigator Andrew Hynek says, "The property that was inside the residence we've been able to link to about a dozen residential burglaries."

Fortunately, Glen Lazzeri was able to get back that 80-inch LED TV that was stolen. He says one thing that can't be replaced is his peace of mind. "Every bump in the night we were like, 'Is somebody breaking in?' It was like somebody kicked us in the stomach, said Lazzeri. "What a sick feeling. You know the violation of it. They don't realize how much trauma it puts on a family. They probably don't care either."

Potential victims who hope to identify property are encouraged to contact lead investigator Andrew Hynek at (219)326-7700 ex. 2401 or (219)879-3530.

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