Lost Medicaid card key to burglary spree arrests
A burglary spree crossing town and county lines has been shut down following an undercover sting operation.
Monroe County sheriff's deputies have arrested Dean Klejment and Joseph Mullen. They're accused of stealing $30,000 worth of tools and equipment from cars and garages.
The key to cracking this county-wide crime spree was a Medicaid card — a card deputies say was dropped by the lead suspect while stealing power tools from a family's home in Perinton, but the sheriff's office says that's not the only house he hit.
Court documents state the face on that ID card was Dean Klejment, a career criminal.
Klejment has done four stints in state prison, accused this time of hitting garages and cars across Monroe and Ontario counties, primarily stealing power tools.
Sgt. John Watson of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said, "Dean was a target we'd been looking at for quite a while. After setting up a detail, watching him, he was observed doing multiple burglaries."
The investigation into the 51-year-old spans over months and over town lines. Deputies say Klejment admitted to a number of home and car break-ins in Irondequoit, Pittsford, Rochester and Perinton.
"We know everyone, make sure we keep an eye on everyone else," explained Beth Indovina of Perinton. The suspects are accused of hitting a home near hers.
"A lot of people around here, at nighttime when I'm walking everything is closed up, I don't notice anything suspicious," Indovina said. "To me, it doesn't feel like something that would happen all the time."
The victim detailed the theft in his own words through court papers, saying he noticed the garage door was open before heading to bed, hitting the automatic door, but not waiting to see if it was closed. The next morning, it was back open, and his tools, totaling $700, were missing, making the victim believe either there was an issue with the sensor, or the thieves were already inside his garage.
"Some were just opened garages, crimes of opportunity. But a lot of garages, he was breaking a window or a door to make entry that way," said Watson.
Investigators say Klejment would take the stolen goods and stored them in the garage belonging to Joseph Mullen, 35, who is now facing charges.
Moving forward, Watson explained, "Now it's on us to go back through reports and see if victims fit the pattern of this crime, reach out to see if they can identify their property."
Which will take time, considering approximately $30,000 worth of stolen power tools and equipment were recovered. The investigators with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office have a garage full of those tools now in evidence, waiting to get back to their proper owner. As for Klejment and Mullen, more charges could be coming their way.