The News-Gazette was burglarized overnight on September 6, 2019 and now two Randolph County men are being charged with the crime. On January 10, 2020 Kelley Smithson, Investigator for the Randolph County Prosecutor’s office presented David Daly, Prosecuting Attorney, evidence that he felt sufficient to issue warrants to arrest Jordan Donahue and Brandon Rainey, both 24, with Burglary, a level 5 Felony and with Theft, a Class A Misdemeanor.
After reviewing police reports from the Winchester Police Department and other further investigation Smithson, found that the two subjects did break and enter into the building located at 224 W. Franklin Street in Winchester. While inside the two are accused of stealing multiple items including Apple computers, cameras, keyboards and other various electronics as well as upturning the newspaper office.
Approximately 12:30 on September 7, 2019, Sports Editor, Rick Reed, entered the building and found the equipment missing and the office in disarray. Immediately reporting the crime to Publisher Leesa Friend-Teale, she called the Winchester Police Department where a report was filed.
Upon investigation, video footage obtained from area businesses showed the two accused suspects around the area of the News-Gazette. After further review there were people seen walking inside the building. Minutes later the two were seen fleeing the area on a scooter.
WPD Sgt. Austin Highlen was asked to view the footage where he immediately identified the two suspects. Having numerous interactions with the two subjects the officer made the identifications with 100% certainty.
Upon questioning the two suspects have both denied having any involvement in the burglary. On November 17, 2019 however, Leadsonline, a web-based pawn shop database, sent a notice that one of the reported stolen Apple computers had been sold at the EZ Pawn in Muncie, Indiana by Brandon Rainey. Serial numbers match the stolen property and video footage and a thumb print verified that is was in fact Rainey.
Donahue has been arrested and a warrant has been issued for Rainey. Both suspects have prior criminal records. The burglary charges carry up to 6 years in prison.