Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Antique burglar deals his way into the hands of police

  •   A Nebraska City man accused of stealing antiques from an elderly neighbor entered a not guilty plea Monday in Otoe County District Court. Donald Wayne Martinez, 42,is charged with burglary and theft from the Doris Willis resid...
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  • Police say a Nebraska City man suspected of stealing antiques from his neighbor may have thought he had a perfect setup, but his dealings sent him straight to the cops.
    Police Cpt. Lonnie Neeman said 42-year-old Donald Martinez could leisurely watch his neighbor's house to make sure no one was home before searching it for valuables.
    He suspects that stolen jewelry was sold in December at the treasurer hunter's roadshow in Syracuse, other items were sold locally and some were put into storage between trips to the pawn shops in Lincoln.
    The house's sole occupant had been staying at a nursing home, so there was plenty of time for perusal of the household valuables.
    Neeman said he does not know how long things had been missing by the time a relative visited the house and called police on Dec. 27.
    Items reported stolen included silverware, crank telephone, mantel clock, toys and figurines.
    Capt. Neeman said he had few clues to go by when he left the burglarized house that day, but he hoped to learn more by checking with antique dealers.
    The first place he went was “Bring It On,” an antique store at the former Cincinnati House that happens to be run by police officer Dean Scheideler.
    As Neeman went through the list of stolen items, Scheideler remembered buying some silverware two weeks earlier.
    He said he remembered Martinez because he had seen him at the treasurer hunter's roadshow.
    The officers said their search for Martinez led to the his residence next door to the burglarized house.
    Neeman said Martinez denies stealing anything, but said he purchased the antiques from someone he met a local bar.

    Trial is scheduled May 1.

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