One of four suspects charged in a burglary ring that targeted Columbus businesses over the holidays last year has pleaded guilty.
Erica Denise “Punkin” Crouch, 31, was charged with others in a 13-count indictment alleging nine business break-ins or attempts during December 2016.
She pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree burglary Tuesday before Judge William Rumer, who sentenced her to eight years in prison with three to serve and the rest on probation.
Crouch also pleaded guilty in a misdemeanor stalking case involving an ex-girlfriend to whom she sent threatening text messages. She was to serve 12 months for that, concurrent with her other sentence.
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These were the 2016 cases she admitted during her plea:
- A Dec. 10 break-in at the Circle A, 6959 Macon Road, in which cash, Newport cigarettes and lottery tickets were taken, according to a police warrant.
- A Dec. 10 burglary of the Dollar General, 3885 Miller Road, in which $364 worth of goods were taken.
- A Dec. 20 break-in at the Chevron Food Mart, 4640 Warm Springs Road, in which tobacco and lottery tickets were taken.
Crouch was the lone defendant in the Circle A burglary. In the Dollar General break-in, her accomplices were Derius Anquin “Chopper” Irby, 27, and Taquawn Rodriquez Pollard, 42, also known as “Head” and as “TA,” authorities said.
Her cohorts in the Chevron burglary were Pollard and Madison Elizabeth Reese, 23, according to their indictment.
Police this past January said the four suspects were implicated in up to 20 business burglaries in Columbus.
Their indictment charged Pollard and Reese with a Dec. 27 burglary at Advanced Auto Parts, 4933 Hamilton Road, and another break-in that same day at The Bottle Shop, 101 Southern Way, where $652 worth of booze was stolen.
Pollard also was indicted in a Christmas Day burglary of the Chevron Moon Mart, 7160 Moon Road, Suite A, and an attempted break-in that day at the adjacent Parkway Liquor Store in Suite B, where he’s accused of trying to break through a glass door with a hydraulic jack handle. He was charged also with possessing burglary tools, for having a hammer.
Irby was charged with breaking into G&J Outfitters, 4724 Hamilton Road, between Dec. 23 and Dec. 25. Police said the goods stolen there were worth more than $400. Irby also was indicted for first-degree burglary for breaking into a home in the 1500 block of 39th Street between Feb. 3 and Feb. 5 of this year.
Surveillance video from the Dec. 25 break-in at the Moon Road Chevron station showed Pollard and Reese leave in a blue 2014 Chevy Park, police said. Officers saw a car matching that description slowly circling closed businesses on Dec. 28, and tried to stop it.
The car sped away, initiating a chase that ended with the Chevy wrecking near 55th Street and Veterans Parkway, where the occupants got out and ran.
Police caught Reese that night and arrested Pollard the next day at his mother’s home, where he hid under a bed.
This past Sept. 27, Reese pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree burglary. She was sentenced to serve 18 months in jail and five years on probation, according to court records.