Friday, July 27, 2012
Two people have been arrested in connection with a series of burglaries in Kansas and Oklahoma. Officials say they are still looking for more suspects who may also be connected to the crimes.
Emporia police say Scott Mears, 22, and Rebecca O'Conner, 33, both of Ponca City, Oklahoma, were arrested Thursday evening in Emporia. Officials say the two were located at an apartment in the 400 block of State Street and were arrested after a short foot chase. O'Conner's two small children, ages 4 and 6, were taken into protective custody.
Mears and O'Conner are suspected of burglarizing at least three churches in Emporia as well as several other churches, businesses and homes in Kansas and Oklahoma. They have been linked to at least nine burglaries in the Ponca City, Oklahoma area since July 3. Officials with the Ponca City Police Department say they expect the suspects to be linked to many more unsolved burglaries as the investigation continues.
Officials with the Kay County Sheriff's Department say the two suspects have been linked to church burglaries in Arkansas City, Winfield, Newton and Hutchinson. Investigators say Mears left fingerprints at burglary scenes in both Arkansas City and Ponca City.
Mears and O'Conner face charges of burglary, theft and criminal damage to property. Once they are officially charged in Emporia and other Kansas communities, the pair will be taken back to Oklahoma to face charges.