Burglar tries to sell stolen items back to Cordova victim

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police said a man broke into a woman's Cordova home and stole several items. Days later, detectives said the accused burglar tried selling the stolen items back to the victim.

Even though the victim was not home when the crime happened, detectives said the homeowner turned over surveillance video, which caught an image of the alleged thief. After the break-in, the victim also alerted police to an extortion plot.

Dawn Byrd has called the Cordova area home for nearly 20 years. She was surprised to learn that two doors away from her house, a neighbor was hit by a burglar.

"I was like 'Oh really' because this is just a great neighborhood; it really is," Byrd said. "That's too bad, but I'm glad they caught the guy."

Police said the victim helped with the capture when she turned over her home surveillance video.

"That's what really upsets me, that we didn't realize anything was going on," Byrd said.

The alleged burglar has been identified as Jeffrey Hepler.

A computer, a safe with personal documents and even a sorority blanket were among the many items taken.

But things only grew more bizarre a few days later, when detectives said a man called the victim, saying he just happened to "locate the victims property along the Green Line."

He went on to say he would hand it over to the victim for "$100 cash."

Police were made aware of the meetup spot. Detectives were lying in wait when they said Courtney Pierce showed up with the safe and a garbage bag with some of the other items.

It wasn't until police executed a search warrant at the home of Pierce and Hepler that they discovered the stolen sorority blanket.

The two are now behind bars and awaiting their day in court.

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