LETTER: Crime victim shares story of weekend Des Moines residential burglary

Sam Mardis, an ‘angry and violated Des Moinian’ victim of a residential burglary in Des Moines over the weekend, wants to share his experience with our Readers:


Just wanted let the neighborhood know of a break-in that happened Saturday night around 0030. The break-in happened near the intersection of 16th Ave and 248th St. just south of Zenith Park. The trio of perps who were described as 1 African american male, 1 Hispanic male and a third unidentified person carrying what looked to be a basketball prior to the burglary were heading east on 248th, 2 of them wearing black or dark colored hooded sweatshirts and all younger looking. The gang brazenly walked into an occupied house with an unlocked front door and were able to snatch 3 cell phones, multiple pairs of keys, a purse, 2 game consoles and a few other items that total up to approx $3000. No persons were in or near the living/dining room and a 2 year old toddler just one room away, when they entered the house. The assailants mistakenly hit the panic button or tried to to on a ’07 Dodge that alerted the owner and other people inside that something was not right. They then ran north on 16th ave and proceeded to turn east on approx 248th one neighbor reported to us as we were looking around the neighborhood.

This has impacted 5 different people in a matter of 5 minutes. A Play Station Controller was retrieved this morning while walking that path the un-knowns took just north on 16th ave. One night prior a neighbor informed me that a suspicious vehicle, gold/silver late 90s Honda Accord sedan, that pulled up right after they had gotten home and did not move until he activated his car alarm, then drove off, and was caught on a security camera.

Please blast this to all of your subscribers to try to help us catch the ones who did this so they can not do it again and alert local shops of someone potentially trying to pawn or sell such items. This makes me think twice of living in the city of Des Moines that was once a sought after and safe part of the NW.

Thank you.
From an angry and violated Des Moinian,
– Sam Mardis

We contacted Sgt. Doug Jenkins of the Des Moines Police Department, who told us:

I have NO information on a two-year old being inside the house. The residents were home, however, they were in the backyard when the suspects entered through the unlocked front door. The residents were not threatened or confronted by the suspects.

The descriptions you provided are somewhat different than what we have. All we were given was a white female with blond hair, possibly a Native American male and possibly a white or Asian male. Obviously officers responded and searched the area for the suspects.

It would be a good idea for whoever found the Playstation controller to call our non-emergency number (206-878-3301) and have an officer pick it up. Hopefully it hasn’t been handled too much and we can still try and get latent prints off of it.

– Sgt. Doug Jenkins


2 Responses to “LETTER: Crime victim shares story of weekend Des Moines residential burglary”
  1. AB in DM says:

    Sorry for your loss Mr. Mardis. I hope your insurance will cover your monetary losses and your family’s fears subside quickly. A jarring experience to be sure.

    But note the tenor and substance of SGT Jenkin’s reply (essentially it was your fault, lock your door next time or your 2-year old might get kidnapped too). Callous DMPD responses happen when they know they can’t help you due to being so hopelessly understaffed. Its a coping mechanism, don’t take it personally. They are doing the best they can with their MEAGER budget allowance from the DM City Council. In the mean time, know it is up to us individuals to protect our homes & families first and foremost from the burgeoning criminality here in Des Moines.

    Based on your description of them, I’m sure the burglars were on their way home from some city-sanctioned late night basketball put on by the DM Parks department, designed to mitigate such crime. Or at least, that is Mayor Kaplan and Parks Director Thorell’s theory-of-crime prevention here in DM. Total nonsense if you ask me.

  2. RC says:

    Before you judge the DMPD response you might want to realize those are probably select quotes taken from a larger response. When you pick and choose out of a larger whole it doesn’t give a clear picture. Plus, how is pointing out the “facts” give the the police are different (significantly) from the “facts in this letter callous? I agree they are understaffed but your reasoning is specious at best.

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