Photos courtesy of LIVINGSTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
A cell phone belonging to Sam Sides Jr. was found at the scene of a July 11 burglary in Avon. Police suspect Sides, along with cousin Landis Windom, are responsible for the break-in.
Livingston County Sheriff
Lost cell phone leads to burglary arrest
For some police officers, a stray fingerprint or a strand of hair can lead to an arrest. For others the clues are a lot easier to find.
After a homeowner in Avon reported his home had been ransacked, Sheriff’s Investigator Thomas Doughtery found a cell phone near the window the thieves used to force entry into the house. The discovery started a monthlong investigation leading to the arrest of two Rochester men Tuesday.
“It looked like someone climbed through the window and dropped his phone,” Doughtery told The County News.
Phone records showed Sam Sides, Jr., 38, as its owner, but Sides told police that his phone had been stolen.
“We couldn’t arrest him on that piece of evidence alone. A lot of small pieces of evidence started to add up.”
Sides and his cousin Landis Windom, 25, have been charged with stealing over $17,000 in property — including a flat screen television, computers, jewelry, family keepsakes, cash and long guns.
The burglary took place during the day while the owner was away. Though the doors to the home had been locked, the two were able to enter through an open window by cutting through the screen.
The arrest followed the sale of a Nintendo Wii videogame player at a pawn shop in Rochester. Sides was identified as the seller. According to Doughtery, the homeowner recorded the serial numbers of all of the electronics, aiding the investigation.
The two men were araigned in Avon Town Court Tuesday, Aug. 14 on charges of Burglary in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, and Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony.
The men were turned over to the custody of the Livingston County Jail and will appear again in Avon Court at a later date.
Windom is being held on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 secure bond. Sides was ordered to be held with no chance of bail.
Investigator Dougherty handled the investigation and was assisted by Investigator Ronald Huff Jr. of the Criminal Investigation’s Division of the Sheriff’s Office.
District Attorney Greg McCaffrey assisted with the case, along with the U.S. Marshals and the Rochester Police Department assisting with apprehension of the subjects.