4-county burglary ring has local ties

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Houston County burglary ring, broken up last week by law enforcement, is believed to have ties to at least four Alabama counties – including Covington – and has investigators urging those suffering from jewelry thefts to contact their office.

Houston County’s Chief Deputy Donald Valenza said Tuesday, investigators are searching for the owners of a “pile of jewelry” recovered after the arrest of Robert Keith Allen, 45, of Dothan; Kristy Michelle Dawson, 32, of Elba, and Jeffery Lamon Turner, 28, of Dothan. The three were arrested after a routine traffic stop.

He said the three are tied to an estimated 30 burglaries dating back to January 2009 in Houston, Coffee, Covington and Geneva counties in Alabama; Seminole County, Ga., and Washington County, Fla.

Reports show the ring’s method of operation was to break into a residence while the homeowners were gone during the day, take a pillowcase from inside the home and fill it with items.

“If any of this sounds familiar or there was jewelry removed from the home, call us,” Valenza said to area residents who have filed a report concern their robbery. “Give us a description of the items taken or come and take a look. If at all possible, bring a copy of the report. Sometimes it helps to view these items, because you might think that it was just a ring or two and then remember about a necklace.”

Valenza said in addition to the jewelry, other recovered items include electronics, knives, guns and prescription pills.

Residents who have been victims of a burglary are urged to contact the HCSO at 334-677-4888.