One of the most fearful moments of Kathy Jankowski’s life was discovering that someone had broken into her home.
In a letter to the South Bethany Town Council, the former mayor described how quickly Cpl. Mark Burton had responded to her house, done his job and calmed her down. She called him a “knight in shining armor [who] made me feel safe enough to stay in my house that night.”
Between overwhelming evidence and Burton’s diligence, officials said, the South Bethany Police Department solved the burglary case and recovered the stolen items. In honor of the job well done, Burton received a Certificate of Commendation at the December town council meeting.
Burton had visited four pawnshops, searching the inventory data for hours, “and I do mean hours,” said Police Chief Troy Crowson. That’s before the Internet searches began, including on eBay and Craigslist.
They found the stolen goods and identified the sellers, and a suspect was apprehended less than 24 hours after the warrant was issued. He’d been to the house legally before, with someone who had been contracted to do work. He was not a contractor himself, officials said. His arrest also led police to two more accomplices.
Between security footage, a 3 a.m. hotel raid, confessions from suspects and one suspect voluntarily turning himself in, the SBPD found the perpetrators in two weeks.
“The case is moving very smoothly forward,” Burton said. “We’ve overwhelmed them with evidence.”
They also recovered items the victim didn’t realize were stolen.
“It’s not uncommon for a victim to call us seven months later and tell us, ‘I’m missing my mother’s diamond bracelet,’” Crowson said.
“I feel it is important for the community to know we have this caliber … on our police force,” Jankowski wrote.