JEFFERSON — A former Jefferson County deputy has been charged with burglary after attempting to steal from seven different homes in Jefferson County.
Janelle Gericke, 29, has been charged with one count of burglary, a Class F Felony.
According to a criminal complaint, Gericke entered or attempted to enter, seven different homes without the homeowners' consent. During the majority of these instances, homeowners were attending the funeral of a friend or family member. Gericke was aware that the homeowners would not be home due to obituaries that stated living family members and funeral times.
Police have charged Gericke with burglary after the homeowners of the fourth home caught her in their house.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim and her family returned to their home following their son's funeral to find Gericke in their kitchen. When the victim asked Gericke what she was doing there, Gericke stated she was there to clean the residence. Gericke said she was responding to a Facebook ad.
Gericke also told the victim that she worked for the Sheriff's department but didn't specify which one. The victim asked Gericke to leave and Gericke obliged.
Police set up a photo lineup including a photo of Gericke. The victim and her family identified Gericke as the intruder.
Upon being caught in other instances, Gericke used Facebook as her reasoning for being at the residences. At one of the homes, she told a police officer she was there to purchase a Graco brand baby swing.
Gericke could face up to 12 and a half years in prison if convicted.