Today, Erie Police Chief Don Dacus is thanking the public for putting the three alleged offenders behind bars. Sunday's storms that resulted in high flood waters caused the front foundation of the home at 504 East 30th Street to collapse.
55-year-old Michael MacGurn and 59-year-old Garry Hoffman were found dead. Dacus tells us, "It was the recording of the tragedy on Facebook that lead them to that house to [commit] really a cold, calculated crime against this family."
Three men identified as 22-year-old Tyree Catledge, 18-year-old Shannon Lambert and 18-year-old Majed Al-Jayashi, all from Erie, reportedly took advantage of the tragedy and robbed the home. "They did ransack this house," says Dacus. "They were not kind in the manner in which they tore this house apart afterwards. Obviously, that was concerning."
Police say the suspects went around the back of the house, opened the gate, and then one of the suspects got in one of the windows. He then went inside and opened the door to let the other two suspects in."
For nearly two hours, the suspects made multiple trips from inside the home out to the car. They stole firearms, money, laptop computers, tablets, credit cards, personal paperwork and jewelry; specifically, a purple amethyst and diamond ring.
Marlaina Payne, a fourth suspect, was flashing this stolen ring in a post on Snapchat, according to Detective Earl Matson. He says they were "on social media bragging about the crime". Their posts led to a flood of tips to the Erie Police Department Facebook page.
"Additional information that was received from the public help put us on a pathway to that house," says Dacus.
All four suspects were inside a home in the 1700 block of East 27th Street when police stopped by. One of the stolen TV's was in plain sight.
The public weighs in on law enforcement utilizing social media to solve crimes. Danielle Brooks saying, "If your profile is public, anyone can have access to it including law enforcement. They should be able to utilize whatever resource they have to solve crimes."
James Tansey adding, "I repost most alerts from law enforcement. I call em "Facebook Manhunts" And I know they definitely work."
Donald Nelson joking, "We should get a cut for doing half the work!"
Chief Dacus thanks the public for their assistance in the case. "It really came down to social media and some tips that were phoned in that really put us on solid ground."
The three men have been charged with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and receiving stolen property. The woman is not being held but will face charges of receiving stolen property.
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