Three family members charged with felony burglary

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The county sheriff's department is continuing its investigation.

Three family members accused of looting a Cape Girardeau County home for profit were charged Tuesday with felony burglary.

A county sheriff's deputy responded to a call Monday afternoon of trespassing and suspicious activity at 9469 State Route W near Fruitland. When she arrived, the deputy found Dana L. Sheldrake, Stephen D. Sheldrake II, and William D. Porter on the property.

Dana Sheldrake first told the deputy that the trio had permission to load a truck with tools, antiques and car parts, but later admitted to using the vehicle to haul stolen items back and forth, according to a probable cause statement filed in the case.

As many as 13 vehicles were stolen from the property, nine of which had been recovered Tuesday. The vehicles included a motor home and flatbed wrecker, and most were in the mid-1990s, according to Lt. David James of the sheriff's department. They had been sitting outside on the property.

Also recovered were a stolen firearm, large amount of antiques, fishing equipment and jewelry, a release from the sheriff's department stated. Many of the items were found in the Sheldrakes' and Porter's home, 2920 Perryville Road in Cape Girardeau.

"Whatever a person accumulates in their life, they just took," James said. He did not know the total monetary value of the stolen items.

The trio had been stealing cars and goods from the property since July 1. The home owner, who had been away from the property during the thefts, did not know the suspects, the statement read.

According to Dana Sheldrake, Porter traded one of the stolen vehicles for crack cocaine, the statement read.

Dana and her husband Stephen Sheldrake admitted in the probable cause statement that the pair had taken several stolen goods to Money Time Pawn in Cape Girardeau in exchange for cash.

Stephen Sheldrake, 24, and his uncle, Porter, 43, had bond set at $50,000. Stephen Sheldrake has a robbery, stealing and property damage conviction, and Porter has been convicted of resisting arrest, assault, and vehicular homicide.

Dana Sheldrake's bond was set at $30,000.

The sheriff's department is continuing their investigation, and additional charges may be brought against the defendants.

Anyone with information on the purchases of vehicles or property from the suspects are asked to call the sheriff's department, 243-3551.

335-6611, extension 127

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