The Saunders County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged two people suspected of burglary in northwest Saunders County Wednesday afternoon.
Deputies, troopers and other local law enforcement used a multitude of resources to apprehend the suspects, including a an Airwing helicopter and K-9s from the Nebraska State Patrol and a drone.
“I think this is the first time we’ve used a drone to apprehend somebody,” Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz said. “It actually belonged to one of our deputies who was off-duty, it was his personal equipment. He came out help to assist and search and then deployed his drone and located them.”
Brandon Swanson, 18, of Scribner and Rielee Wermers, 20, of Beemer are currently being held at the Saunders County Jail. They have been charged with burglary, but could face additional charges for obstruction of justice, Stukenholtz said.
Stukenholtz said Wermers described Swanson as a “half-brother of a half-brother.” Their bond has been set at 10% of $25,000.
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The office first received a suspicion report around 11 a.m. near Roads 26 and V, north of Prague. Stukenholtz said three households were affected by the suspects.
“Coins were taken, jewelry and other items, so we’re still totaling up what the total loss was,” he said. “We recovered some of the coins, but we have not recovered the jewelry.”
The suspects were finally apprehended around 4:30 p.m. Stukenholtz said he was thankful for the initial report, which provided deputies with information as to where the suspects fled.
“The success of this entire operation probably was a result of a local citizen who noticed something out of place, noticed it was out of place enough to investigate a little further and then to call us and get us involved,” he said. “So if it hadn’t been for a citizen paying attention to some things that didn’t look right, they could’ve gotten away.”