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City woman arrested in connection with residential burglaries

Jun 29, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

A Riverton woman faces charges in connection with a recent rash of residential burglaries in the Riverton area.

Fremont County Sheriff's Capt. Ryan Lee said Stephanie Whitman, 19, of Riverton, is the lone suspect of at least 17 burglaries that his agency and the Riverton Police Department have been investigating since April.

"Keen eyes from citizens in the area, coupled with our concurrent investigations, put an end to this bizarre and extremely concerning string of crimes," Lee said in a news release. "At the current time, Whitman is confined at the Fremont County jail regarding a string of separate burglaries that occurred in the city of Riverton, as well as three initial burglary counts concerning the rural incidents."

Lee said Whitman's arrest stems from the assistance of a resident who noticed Whitman and her vehicle in northeast rural Riverton and thought to document the vehicle and notify police because of Whitman's suspicious behavior.

Lee said Riverton police located the vehicle Wednesday and connected Whitman to recent burglaries in the city's jurisdiction.

He said sheriff's investigators worked with the RPD and were able to link Whitman to the rural burglaries through interviews and physical evidence.

Riverton police Capt. Eric Murphy said a series of search warrants were conducted on Whitman's house and vehicle and several stolen items were recovered.

The rural burglaries occurred at homes along the roads of Delfelder, Burma, Haymaker, Jennings, Young, Zuber and North Smith.

Lee said the crimes occurred in daylight hours while homeowners were away. He said Whitman allegedly forcibly entered a majority of the homes, removing only money.

"The vast array of break-ins had the same modus operandi," he said. "The suspect would enter the home, usually through an unlocked window, and remove only change and/or cash without taking any other valuable items and/or damaging or tampering with any further contents."