JCPD arrested suspect of a string of thefts from garage sales

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JEFFERSON CITY – Police arrested a woman suspected in a string of thefts from garage sales over the past two weeks on the west side of the city. 

In a press release, JCPD said Lindsey Birdsong was identified by multiple witnesses as being responsible for the crimes.

According to court records, Birdsong has a history of burglary, property damage, forgery, fraudulent use of a credit device, assault and receiving stolen property.

Jefferson City resident Lindsey Rowden said on Facebook she was a Birdsong's victim on July 27, a little before noon.

"My garage sale was going awesome until a seemingly nice woman-who was actually a thief-walked off with $200 cash, my iPhone and the case that had my drivers license, debit and credit card," Rowden wrote.

Rowden told KOMU 8 News the suspect had been at her home for between 10-15 minutes before taking some of Rowden's property.

"She visiting my home at a garage sale that I was having, shopping for little-girls clothes," Rowden said. "She actually purchased some items from me but waited for me to help another family that was there, when she helped herself to some cash out of a money box, as well as my iPhone and case with credit cards and identifications in it as well."

JCPD's Lieutenant David Williams said crimes related to garage sales thefts are not common in Jefferson City.

"However, there are most often times when people are victims of opportunity more than anything else," he said. "In case of an outdoor sale, we just recommend that people pay attention to their surroundings, like they would anywhere else. Be vigilant of people around you, where your purse and your valuables are, where you set things down."

Williams said garage sellers should be cautious of the cash they keep during outdoor sales.

"By all means, don't keep a large amount of money in one particular place," he said. "If you find yourself having a sell, and it's a successful sale, take some money inside, place it in a sale container. There's nothing wrong with purchasing some type of lock box."

Rowden said she was able to recover some of her property thanks to her community.

"My phone was actually found at a local car wash, the 'Kwik Kar' is locally own and operated, and it was with their help that we were able to get my phone back and also track her down," she said.

Rowden said regardless of her recent experience she plans to continue doing garage sales.

"I have three kids in my own, and we accumulate clothes as they grow so quickly, and it is a good way for us to help other families provide clothes for their kids," she said. "I just would be very careful with where money is or where my personal items are, even though I am on my own property and in my own home.”

Authorities took Birdsong to the Cole County Jail and released her on a bond of $5,000.