A former Wisconsin deputy sheriff who was charged with burglarizing homes she picked out of obituaries was hit with a two-year prison sentenced, state prosecutors said Monday.
Janelle Gericke, 30, was sentenced as part of a guilty plea on charges that she scoured obits to target grieving families when they weren’t home in at least a half-dozen cases, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said in a release.
She pleaded guilty to two of the counts of burglary and one count of attempted burglary.
“The crimes committed in this case were violations of the public trust,” Kaul said in a statement. “Thank you to those at Wisconsin DOJ and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office who secured justice for the victims of these crimes and the residents of Jefferson County.”
Gericke, who was hired as a corrections officer at the Jefferson County Jail in 2016, was fired in July 2019 and officially charged in December 2019 in the case.
Prosecutors said she carried out the heists in 2018 and 2019, picking targets where the families suffered a recent loss and were attending funerals
In at least one case she was caught red-handed and told homeowners she was picking up items she bought on Facebook and went to the wrong address, WDJT-TV said.
In addition to the two-year prison sentence, Gericke will be on probation for three years after her release, prosecutors said.
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