Investigators file subpoena for phone records in heist case

Cropped Photo: r. nial bradshaw / CC BY 2.0
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Omaha police investigators have filed a subpoena request for cell phone records of a suspect in a heist case from August 2018 where the thieves made off with cash, gold, and jewelry valued at $500,000.

The individual suspect is not named in the court affidavit but the says the location of the cell phone records is Iowa RSA 2 Limited Partnership DBA Chat Mobility in Emerson, Iowa.

According to the affidavit, on Aug. 13, 2018, Omaha Police responded to a burglary at ABC Coins and Collectibles at 1826 N. 144th St. The owner of the business told police sometime overnight suspects cut power to the building, defeated redundant security systems and broke into the store.

The suspects appeared to gain entry to the building by drilling a hole into the front metal door frame and then unscrewing the door lock barrel — all while not triggering the glass break and motion sensors, court documents state.

Officers could not find the door lock barrel and said they believe the suspects took it.

Once inside, the suspects robbed the safe of cash, gold and jewelry worth an estimated $500,000, records state. The owners told police where the backup key to the safe was hidden and that they found it inside the safe after the robbery.

The suspects also took the DVR receiver and the Simplisafe security system base out the back employee storeroom.

Officers noted the clock was stopped at 12:15 a.m. indicating when the power had been cut.

Text messages the owner shared with police indicate the alarm system was armed and functioning before the burglary.

The owner told police the suspects would have had prior knowledge of where the most valuable items were kept.

Michelle Chase was previously hired to set up the security system and had access to the security codes and passwords to all the systems.

After the burglary, Chase came to the store to help the owners download video from exterior cameras and told police that Chase was acting oddly.

When police reviewed the exterior video, it appeared one camera's video had been written over with newer recordings and the other video's time stamp skips from 9:30 p.m. to 9:48 p.m. Just before the skip, a front headlight pulls into the frame but quickly reverses out of frame.

Further investigation into Chase revealed that she and her husband are owners of Kamikaze Motorsports and had liquidated inventory in their business in two auctions in 2017.

When police called Chase to question her, she denied involvement and stated she had nothing else to say. She refused a request to meet and provide a statement in person.

Police believe that phone records could indicate whether or not Chase was in the area at the time of the burglary.