Two alleged burglars who unsuccessfully attempted to break into Envy Fine Clothing’s Downtown Turlock store have been apprehended, thanks to surveillance footage and the power of social media.
Following the failed break-in at the Turlock store, which occurred at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, the criminals then went to the Modesto Envy location and broke in, stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise.
Laura Darlene McNeely and Matthew Keene Roberts were arrested for the crimes after Envy owners Darlene and Scott Dover posted surveillance footage of the attempted Turlock break-in on Facebook Wednesday afternoon. Darlene says an acquaintance of the burglars saw the video and contacted her. The acquaintance indicated that the pair had been trying to sell some them a pair of blue jeans and other merchandise.
“The person just put two and two together and gave me a call. I was able to get their address and then we went there and called the Modesto police,” explained Darlene Dover.
At the scene police discovered a significant amount of evidence leading them to believe McNeely and Roberts were involved in a much larger theft and fraud ring that spanned four counties.
McNeely faces charges including receiving stolen property, check fraud and probation violation. Roberts is charged with grand theft, felony burglary, vandalism, conspiracy and auto theft.
Roberts has a long history of criminal activity. In December 2009, then 38 years old, he was sentenced to five years in prison for a series of burglaries between August 2007 and June 2008 in Turlock, Manteca and Oakdale. Included in that sentence was a drug treatment evaluation.
The Dovers are relieved the thieves have been caught, and praised the power of social media to fight crime and catch criminals. Darlene Dover says she has used social media to find burglars at her stores in the past.
“I would like to thank all of you for your support and tips. We were able to identify the people that broke into my stores and I was able to recover a small portion of the stolen property. It means so much to me that the community can work together to help get the bad criminals off the streets. I cannot stand thieves, liars and cheaters, so let's just say we got some really bad people off the streets. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” she posted on Facebook.