Woman who helped end last summer’s string of burglaries gets recognition

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By Molly Haines

During the summer of 2008, 70 burglaries took place in and around Owen County. Now, one year later, the Farmer cousins are behind bars and one woman has received a reward for her effort toward putting them there.

Owen County Sheriff Zemer Hammond said cousins Eric and Matthew Farmer, both of northern Kentucky, could be facing life in prison.

“The two pled 15 years a piece through federal court,” Hammond said. “Some could be life charges. Once they are sentenced we’ll get them back in our court system.”

The two have been connected to 49 burglaries in 10 counties. Fourteen of the burglaries occurred in Owen County, the most of any county affected.

A local woman, Dawn Davis, was instrumental in  getting the two arrested, and for her effort she received a $5,000 reward from Kentucky Farm Bureau.

Kentucky Farm Bureau will pay $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons committing theft, vandalism, arson or insurance fraud on members’ property where a Farm Bureau sign is posted.

Davis, a victim of the cousins’ burglary spree, had jewelry and other items stolen. According to Judy Picklesimer of Farm Bureau Insurance, Davis gave the Owen County Sheriff’s Department a tip that eventually led to the culprits. Davis persistently checked out flea markets and pawn shops in Northern Kentucky until she spotted some of the stolen items.

Hammond said the Farmer cousins could be sentenced within the next month in a federal court, in either Covington or Lexington.

Hammond said after the burglaries took place in Owen County, citizens became more alert.

“Everyone is a lot more observant now,” Hammond said. “They watch out for each other and if they see something suspicious going on they look for license plate numbers and little things they may not have paid any attention to before.”

“Mail carriers and bus drivers who are all over the county every day really watch for things going on, and if they see something going on they let me know,” Hammond said. “Because I’ve lived in Owen County all my life I’ve been able to build up a good relationship with just about everyone, even the younger ones who have moved here from other places. It’s a lot easier to solve crimes when people are on your side.”