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Wisconsin corrections deputy charged after breaking into homes while residents were attending funerals

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A Wisconsin woman who formerly served with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has been charged with taking advantage of the bereaved- by robbing their homes as they attended funerals.

Janelle Gericke, a 29-year-old Jefferson resident, was charged with felony burglary after she was discovered in the kitchen of a family that had been attending a funeral.

Subsequent criminal complaints claim that Gericke attempted to enter several homes, and appeared to succeed on multiple occasions.

“Jefferson County Sheriff Paul Milbrath and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office apologize to the people that they serve for the embarrassment and mistrust that this individual may have caused,” the office said in a news release.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Gericke was sworn in in 2016 as a corrections officer, and began her crime spree around 2018.

In February of 2018, one victim’s Ring doorbell caught the former jailer at hew residence, Gericke quickly claimed she was simply purchasing something from Facebook Marketplace.

“I was here to pick up the stuff through Facebook,” she said. “I came in to the house and the items weren’t by the door. So I didn’t leave my money. I tried Facebook messaging you but you haven’t responded.”

Gericke would also be spotted by fellow deputies on other occasions, and used a similar series of excuses to explain her presence.

When Gericke was discovered in the kitchen of a home in April, she claimed that she was hired to clean the home.

Though the crimes span all the way into June, it is unknown why the JCSO waited until December to file charges.

Gericke is scheduled to make her initial court appearance in Jefferson on December 30.

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