Couple charged in Goshen burglary

Katelynd Landess and Matthew Smiechowski

GOSHEN — A burglary charge has been added against an Elkhart man who was recently arrested on allegations of dealing prescription drugs.

Matthew Smiechowski, 25, is charged with burglary of a dwelling, a Level 4 felony, in connection with an incident in Goshen at the end of July. Also accused in the same incident is Katelynd Landess, 23.

The burglary charges were filed this week, following the July 30 arrest on drug charges. Smiechowski faces counts including dealing a narcotic drug, a Level 2 felony, and two counts of dealing a controlled substance, a Level 3 felony.

He and Landess were arrested after police responded to a report of suspected counterfeit bills being used at a store. Police determined the bills were authentic, but suspected they may have been related to the burglary.

According to court documents:

A man reported that he returned to a Middlebury Street residence he owns on July 28 and found the back door window broken, with a brick laying on the steps. He said he had last been there two days earlier.

He reported that numerous antique pocket watches, money orders and vehicle titles were missing, along with a bag containing $250,000 in older bills. He said he placed the cash in the bag and left it in his closet about 19 years ago.

When police stopped the vehicle Smiechowski and Landess were driving, they allegedly found a bag containing more than $150,000 in cash. They also recovered numerous pocket watches.

Landess claimed that the watches were given to her by a friend. Smiechowski claimed he got the cash as an inheritance from an unknown, overseas relative.

He said the cash was delivered to a friend's house in two packages, and totaled about $130,000. He couldn't provide the address and refused to name the friend, then told police he was done talking.

Landess later provided details of the burglary, saying they were told about valuables in the residence and came about 11:30 p.m. on either July 25 or 26. She said she quickly got scared and returned to her vehicle, but Smiechowski went through with it.

She also gave details about how much cash they took and how it was divided up.

Police drove her to the area of the burglary, where she pointed out a house that looked familiar but couldn't pick out which residence was allegedly burglarized.

She named two accomplices, though no other arrests have been made yet. Court records indicate that the property owner started eviction proceedings against one of them in June, along with a claim of damages.

 

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