La Porte County burglary ring busted; Officials looking for owners of stolen property

December 4, 2013 (LA PORTE, Ind.)

PHOTOS: Stolen items

Officials said they recovered stolen property at a home in Coolspring Township on November 26, 2013, after serving out a search warrant. Two people -- Nicholas Rife, 33, and his wife, Stephanie Rife, 32, -- were arrested in connection with some of the robberies.

Officials tracked a stolen iPad to the location, police said, just five hours after it was taken. "They notified people before Thanksgiving to give them peace of mind. To let them know there had been an apprehension," La Porte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer said.

It is believed most, if not all, robberies occurred in northern La Porte County within the past three months. Officials hope to return all the stolen property to its rightful owners. It's all on display at a warehouse.

"What happens in situations like this, we have all this property and we have a victim that comes in and says, yes, that's mine. Well, I have to be able to prove that it's yours," Sgt. Andrew Hynek, La Porte County Sheriff's Office, said.

Glen Lazzeri and his wife, Ranell, were out of town when their Michigan City home was burglarized in mid-November.

"We got a call from our landlord and neighbor to say we'd been robbed and police were there. They pretty much cleaned us out. They even took a brand new 80-inch Sharp LED TV. Do you realize how big that is?" Glen Lazzeri said.

Residents who have been the victim of a burglary should call Hynek at (219) 326-7000 ext. 2401 or (219) 879-3530.

The Michigan City Police Department is also part of the investigation, which remains open. There could be more arrests, police said.

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