GOSHEN — A third suspect has been arrested in the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars in money and valuables from a Goshen residence.
Jeffrey Fisher, 34, of Goshen, was arrested Friday and charged in the July 28 burglary of a Middlebury Street residence. He was connected to the burglary after he allegedly made a series of large purchases in cash in the days after the burglary, including paying $2,500 in child support and buying a used Audi.
He is charged with burglary and possession of between 10 and 28 grams of methamphetamine, both Level 4 felonies.
Fisher was booked in the Elkhart County Correctional Facility on $25,000 bond.
Also charged in the burglary are Matthew Smiechowski, 25, and Katelynd Landess, 23. They’re accused of breaking into a residence and taking a bag containing $250,000 in old bills, which the property owner said he left in the closet 19 years ago, as well as antique pocket watches and the titles to vehicles.
Landess told police they stole about $400,000 in total and split it among everyone involved.
‘Some work to do’
According to court documents:
Police learned that Fisher may have been involved after they arrested Smiechowski and Landess. Officers found that Fisher had been booked in the Elkhart County Correctional Facility on unrelated charges before the burglary.
A police detective listened to a phone call between Fisher and another man, in which Fisher told the man they “have some work to do” Saturday morning when he gets out of jail. He asked the man to bring basic tools and gloves as well as trash bags or large duffel bags.
The detective then spoke with a female acquaintance of Fisher about his suspected involvement in the burglary. The woman said she “would not be surprised” to learn this and was wondering where he was getting his money from.
She said he gave her $300 in twenties and she had also seem him with a wad of old $100 bills.
The detective also found Fisher the same day and interviewed him at the Goshen Police Department. Fisher said he wasn’t with Smiechowski or Landess the weekend of the burglary and denied being involved in it.
‘Under the bus’
Police later obtained a recorded phone conversation in which Fisher told the woman that he has money to give her and can “change their lives.” He also allegedly told her, “I can pretty much go buy a ... house right now,” and that he could pay the rest of her rent for the year.
The detective also learned that Fisher had paid his outstanding child support in Marshall County, all in older $50 bills, and had bought a 2007 Audi from a dealer in Elkhart.
On Wednesday, Fisher contacted police about the female acquaintance going missing from a Silverwood Lane apartment. Officers found her walking nearby, and she said Fisher had “a whole bunch of money” in the house and it was related to the burglary.
Meanwhile, three people were seen leaving the apartment and getting into a vehicle with bags in their hands. Police stopped the vehicle and spoke with the occupants, who included Fisher.
Fisher again denied being involved in the burglary. Officers searched a black backpack that was in the vehicle, which contained a large amount of old bills as well as several gold pocket watches.
It also held a clear rock-like substance, weighing 21 grams, that tested positive for meth.
Fisher denied the backpack was his. But another passenger, the same man from the jail call, insisted it was Fisher’s.
The man allegedly told police that Fisher was denying it was his because they had found the money and “now he is trying to throw me under the bus.”