Arrest may resolve several burglaries of credit, debit cards

Arrest may resolve several burglaries of credit, debit cards

URBANA — Area police believe the arrest of an Urbana woman Tuesday may help them close several residential burglary cases that have cost victims credit and debit cards and a whole lot of hassle.

Urbana police Sgt. Dan Morgan said police continue to look for the woman's boyfriend.

"There have been a series of residential burglaries where debit and credit cards were taken and used at big box stores like Meijer and Walmart around Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy. They would find homes where the garage door was open and go in that way," Morgan said.

"She was driving him around, he'd do the burglary and together they'd make the purchases. Both of them are on video making purchases with the stolen cards. They were busy beavers, industrious and hardworking, and we have interrupted their entrepreneurship," he said.

Morgan said detectives from his department along with others from the Champaign County sheriff's office and Champaign police, have been working the similar cases for at least two weeks.

On Tuesday, they got a bit of a break when Urbana officers were sent to a domestic dispute in the 1000 block of Kerr Avenue. The man involved in the argument had fled by the time police arrived but Shawn Marie Schoonover, 28, allowed officers inside their apartment to search. Morgan said detectives were in the process of preparing and obtaining a search warrant at that time.

They found stolen credit and debit cards as well as property police believe was purchased with them such as Xbox games and electronics, Morgan said.

The detective sergeant said police believe some of the purchased items were also sold.

Schoonover was arrested on preliminary charges of residential burglary and credit card fraud.

Champaign County sheriff's detective Dwayne Roelfs said he believes two recent county burglaries — one Aug. 7 or 8 in the 800 block of Park Lane, Champaign, and the other around Aug. 13 in the 1900 block of Lyndhurst Drive, Savoy, can be linked to Schoonover and her boyfriend. A card recovered in their apartment came from one of those homes, Roelfs said.

And in Champaign, Sgt. Dave Griffet said his co-workers have identified two residential burglaries that happened in the last two or three weeks that they believe fit the couple.

Griffet noted such cases create a lot of work and headache for victims who have to cancel credit and debit cards and document the fraud. It also creates a lot of work for detectives who have to link credit card transactions to specific stores, then find video to match those transactions in order to successfully prosecute the alleged burglars.

Schoonover was charged Wednesday with one count of residential burglary alleging she entered the Park Lane home on Aug. 8, intending to steal, and two counts of burglary for allegedly entering, with the intent to steal from, the Walmart at 2610 N. Prospect Ave., C, and the Mobil Super Pantry, 1511 N. Prospect Ave., C, both on Aug. 8.

Judge John Kennedy set her bond at $5,000 and told her to be back in court Oct. 7.
If convicted of residential burglary, she faces four to 15 years in prison. The burglary charges carry penalties ranging form probation to three to seven years in prison.

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ROB McCOLLEY wrote on August 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm
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Hmm, I smell a 4th Amendment issue. I'll be interested to see how this one works itself out.

SaintClarence27 wrote on August 29, 2014 at 8:08 am

"Shawn Marie Schoonover, 28, allowed officers inside their apartment to search" Nope. No 4th Amendment issue, assuming there wasn't coercion on the part of the officers. Since they both lived there, she can give consent to the search.

Rocco146 wrote on August 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I don't thing there will be much of a 4th amendment issue if she willingly gave the officers permission to search their apartment.  It's obvious how the paper omits certain information to cause discussion, so I'm sure there's more to this story. 

Andrew R. Timms wrote on August 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm
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The omission of the boyfriend's name puzzles me. I am unable to come up with a scenario on my own in which leaving his name out helps law enforcement.