A raid on the Omaha home of a suspected burglar led to the recovery of unusual stolen items, some historic and others high tech.
A few dollars of scrap to a thief, but priceless heritage returned to a Bennington family. “The farm has been in the family since 1880 so this is stuff my great-grandfather put up on the barn,” says Gordon Mueller. “It meant a whole lot to get that back.”
Douglas County Sheriff’s Department investigators caught the suspected burglar and accomplice, thanks to the victim's hidden cameras and a confrontation. “I tried taking down license plate numbers and I saw two people running up behind me,” says Mueller. “I didn't know if they had weapons so I kind of spun around.”
Mueller’s information led to the raid and recovery of items stolen from him and other victims. The raid on the suspect’s home didn't just yield antiques, but something very modern, an expensive camera system used to run through sewers.
An Internet search determined the remote-controlled camera system is worth up to $75,000, but the suspect claims he didn't steal it. “We interviewed him at the scene, he stated he bought this from a passerby for around $20, so based on his statement these items are stolen,” says Douglas County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Mark Gentile.
While hoping to find the owner of expensive, high-tech equipment, investigators were able to give back antiques with sentimental value that a thief didn't respect. “Like the steeple, they cut it off the roof with an ax, so no appreciation or regard for other people's property,” says Mueller.
Forty-seven-year-old Timothy Wiggins was arrested for the burglaries when the sheriff's SWAT team raided his home near 29th and Charles around 7 a.m. on Friday.
The recovered camera system doesn't have any markings to identify an owner. Detectives hope anyone who recognizes the equipment will call 402-444-6000.