FREMONT — A pair of Fremont residences were arrested in connection with a burglary of a vacant residence in town on Tuesday.
Bryan Keith Phelps, 30, was arrested on a charge of Level 4 felony burglary after it was discovered that he had broken into a vacant residence on North Wayne Street in Fremont on Tuesday night.
In records filed in Steuben Circuit Court, police allege that Phelps, knowing that the residence would be empty while its owners were in Florida and its house sitter was away, broke into the home and cracked a safe, stealing some $14,000 in cash.
Phelps, who resides in close proximity to the victims, was also arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia, both Class B misdemeanors, after police were directed to his home for questioning.
The woman who resides with Phelps, Sedona G. Austin, 26, was also arrested on possession of marijuana and paraphernalia charges.
Court records say that Phelps pried a door open to gain entry to the home of the victims. Once inside, he found the safe and broke its door open. He discarded the safe door in a nearby body of water, court records say.
Upon returning, the house sitter discovered the home had been broken into. She had reason to believe it might be connected to Phelps and called authorities.
Later, when being interviewed in the home by police, the sitter discovered the safe had been broken into.
After receiving a search warrant, police discovered many recently purchased items of clothing and cash in the home of Phelps and Austin. Police also discovered that Phelps had a fresh tattoo he paid $300 to receive. About $4,600 in cash was found, as well as marijuana and numerous smoking devices and a handgun that was also in the safe.
Police interviewed Phelps at the Fremont Police Department, but after a short time in, he demanded to talk with an attorney.
Phelps is facing 2-12 years in prison for the Level 4 felony. He already has a conviction in Steuben County for Level 6 felony theft.
No information about who is representing Phelps in court was available.