Contributed | Sullivan County Sheriff's Department
Edward Curtis, 56, Mitzi Dunkelberger, 53, and 21-year-old Dylan Curtis were arrested in connection with a burglary ring in Western Sullivan County.
Story by Jeanne Sager
KENOZA LAKE June 21, 2013 The day a family of alleged burglars broke into Charlene McBride’s house was the one day the stay at home mom wasn’t home.
“I’m home all the time,” the frustrated Kenoza Lake resident said. “That’s what I don’t understand. How did they know I wasn’t home?”
McBride had gone to spend the day at her kids’ school, volunteering as a mom helper at the PTSO Fun Day.
While she was gone, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office alleges 56-year-old Edward Curtis; his wife, Mitzi Dunkelberger, 53; and 21-year-old son Dylan Curtis broke into her family home and made straight for her bedroom.
When McBride returned after a day out with the kids, she found her bedroom door shut. Behind it her jewelry box was missing three of its drawers. The screen of her bedroom window had been busted out looking right out on Route 52A.
The perpetrators were gone, along with some of her husband’s ammo and items precious to her.
“The jewelry part I don’t really care about, but I have a lot of things of sentimental value, things that wouldn’t be valuable to them, that they would have thrown away,” McBride told the Democrat.
Items her kids have made for her over the years, those are irreplaceable.
So is the feeling of security in her own home, a feeling that is slowly being restored with the arrests made by Sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday evening.
According to Undersheriff Eric Chaboty, the deputies got a break in the case earlier that day when the Curtis family allegedly vandalized a home on Route 17B in Callicoon. The victim’s next door neighbor, who has a home business, was able to supply a good description of the suspects, a description that helped Deputy Blake Starner spot the alleged burglars at the car wash in Jeffersonville where they were doing their laundry. State Police assisted in the arrests.
The three were placed under arrest and are facing multiple counts of burglary and possession of stolen property in relation to the burglary at the McBride residence and the home on Route 17B.
The Curtis family was arraigned yesterday on in Town of Delaware Court. Their address was given as Miller Rd. with a Callicoon PO.
Chaboty said the State Police are also investigating the possibility that the Curtis family is responsible for a string of at least 10 burglaries in the western Sullivan County area.
The arrests came as a huge relief for McBride, who said her children have had a hard time sleeping at night since their home was violated and who has been uneasy herself.
“I just had this eerie feeling. They saw what was here; if they wanted to come back and take something else ...” she said. “After it happened we told everyone we know, ‘lock up tight,’ but locking up tight doesn’t matter. They don’t care. They’re doing it in the middle of the day.”
“I’m extremely happy [with the arrests],” McBride added.
With the upswing in burglaries of this kind, Sheriff Mike Schiff continues to ask citizens to remain vigilant, and "if you see something, say something."