Alva Review-Courier -

Dacoma man reports garage burglary in progress

 

April 15, 2018



A man told law enforcement officers he was helping a woman move her belongings. Things went wrong when he allegedly tried to break into a locked garage and was caught by the owner.

According to court records, the incident occurred just after 3 a.m. on March 19 in Dacoma. Woods County Dispatch sent Undersheriff Keith Dale to check on a reported burglary in progress in the area of 10th Street and Arapaho. Sherman Berry had reported two men were trying to break into his shed.

As Dale drove south on County Road 500, he met a vehicle traveling north. He saw it was an older model Ford Ranger. He found it suspicious for someone to be driving around at that time of the morning and in that area. He asked Alva Police Officer William Shahan to attempt to make contact with the vehicle.

When Dale arrived at the Berry residence, he didn’t see anyone outside on the property. He saw a camper that looked like it was being used as a residence parked to the south of a detached garage. When he knocked on the camper door, he heard a male voice from the garage asking if he was the police.

When Dale identified himself, Berry exited the garage. As Dale spoke with Berry, he saw Brenda Dahn come out of the camper, and she began arguing with Berry. When Dale asked Berry if he knew who was trying to break into his garage, Berry said to ask Dahn because she asked them to do it. He said he recognized one of the men by his voice as Rodney Don Welsh.

Berry showed Dale an exterior door to the garage where Dale saw the trim was partially removed and there were pry marks around the deadbolt. Berry said when he thought the two men were going to gain entry into the garage, he told them he was inside and had called “the law.” He said he heard Dahn and the males talk before the men left.

Dale asked Dahn who the men were, and she said Welsh and Gary L. Webb. Because Dahn was unable to maintain her composure and continued to argue with Berry, Dale placed her in handcuffs. He told her she was being detained and placed her in the front seat of his vehicle.

Dale advised Dahn of her Miranda rights. She told Dale she had been in a dating relationship with Berry for about a year and she lived with him. She said she wanted to leave Berry and enlisted the help of Welsh and Webb in moving her things off Berry’s property while he was gone.

Dahn said she was looking for her wallet and told Welsh and Webb it might be in the garage. However, the doors were locked, and she left her key in Alva. She went inside the trailer and later heard a noise outside. She saw Welsh and Webb at the door of the garage trying to open it. Dahn denied giving them permission to enter or asking them to break into the garage. She said when she heard Berry yell he was in the garage, Welsh and Webb left the property.

Officer Shahan contacted Undersheriff Dale and said he conducted an investigative traffic stop on the Ford Ranger near the intersection of County Road 500 and U.S. Highway 64. He said Welsh and Webb were inside the pickup. Dale asked him to detain the men until he arrived.

When Dale arrived he saw the men in handcuffs inside Shahan’s vehicle. He read them their Miranda rights, and Welsh admitted he and Webb went to Berry’s residence to help Dahn move her property. Welsh said Dahn had given him permission to break into the garage to find her wallet as long as he did not tear anything up.

Webb said he drove Welsh and Dahn to the property but denied any involvement in breaking into the garage.

After confirming with Dahn that she did not give permission for anyone to access the garage, Dale placed Welsh and Webb under arrest. Both were taken to the Woods County Sheriff’s Office.

Dale spoke with Webb after again reading his Miranda rights. Webb signed a waiver and confirmed his previous story. He said he heard Dahn tell Welsh he could go into the garage as long as he did not tear anything up. Webb said he stayed in the yard and denied any involvement in breaking into the garage.

Dale then read Welsh his Miranda rights again, and Welsh signed a waiver. He confirmed his previous story and maintained Dahn gave him permission to enter the garage; however, he later admitted Dahn did not directly grant him permission to break into the garage. Welsh said Dahn asked him to check the doors to the garage and see if any were open.

Welsh said when he attempted to open the overhead door, it lifted up approximately 10 inches before encountering resistance. He said he believed at that time that someone was inside holding the door down. When he tried to open the door with more force, he said it opened about two more inches. Welsh said he told Dahn he could remove the trim piece of the door and pry it open. Welsh admitted Dahn did not give him permission to break in, but he did anyway. He removed the trim piece around the door and stuck a screwdriver near the deadbolt and began to pry it open. Welsh said when he heard Berry say he had called “the law,” he and Webb left.

Rodney Don Welsh, 35, of Woodward has been charged with burglary in the second degree, a felony. This crime is punishable by imprisonment for two to seven years. His bond has been set at $5,000, and his next court appearance is May 8.

 

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