Pair facing burglary charges

FAIRMONT — A Fairmont man and woman face felony burglary charges in Martin County.

Logan James Mahanke, 26, and Airi Smith, 26, have each been charged with burglary in the third degree, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Mahanke faces two counts, while Smith faces one.

According to the complaint:

On Dec. 6, 2016, a Fairmont police officer took a report from the owner of the EZWash Laundry in Fairmont. The owner indicated $648 had been stolen between Dec. 1 and Dec. 6. He believed access was gained from the bathroom through the drop ceiling, and the suspect crawled over to the employee room using duct work and water pipes.

On Jan. 10, an officer was dispatched to the business to speak with the owner who had a video regarding a burglary. The video showed a burglary that occurred about 5:10 a.m. Jan. 8.

In the video, the officer could observe a male enter the bathroom at about 5:11 a.m. and exit the office at about 5:25 a.m.

While the male was in the office, the officer observed a female standing outside the office door, apparently talking to the male.

At about 5:45 a.m., the officer observed the male approach and open the office door, and remove what appeared to be the box from the money changer.

After the male removed the changer, he placed it into a clothing cart and placed a large amount of clothes on top and wheeled it to the back door and left the laundromat.

About 30 minutes later, the same suspects returned to the laundromat. The male opened the office door and put the money changer back into the machine and left.

The owner later provided the officer with a copy of the video and pictures of the suspects. The pair were eventually identified as Mahanke and Smith, who shared a residence in Fairmont. On Feb. 3, Fairmont police officers and two Martin County Sheriff’s deputies executed search warrant for the residence. After announcing their presence with no response, the officers kicked open the door.

An officer immediately observed Mahanke sitting in the living room. Mahanke reached between his legs, and was instructed to put his hands in the air. As Mahanke complied with police instructions, an officer observed a meth pipe in the chair where he had been sitting.

Mahanke was handcuffed, and officers observed three Ziploc baggies that contained a white crystal substance, which tested positive for meth.

During the search, a deputy encountered Smith in the bedroom and placed her under arrest. Mahanke and Smith were transported to the Martin county Law Enforcement Center.

Officers obtained and executed a second search warrant for controlled substances and paraphernalia. During the search, an officer located a digital scale, a container with meth inside, a meth pipe and a marijuana pipe.

Smith was later interviewed at the jail, where she was read her rights and agreed to speak with an officer. The officer explained why they had a search warrant, and showed her pictures that showed the pair inside the laundry. Smith stated she did not know what was going on, and she thought Mahanke had gone to the bathroom, but was unsure.

Smith continued to deny any knowledge of the burglary.

Mahanke was also interviewed, stating he understood his rights and agreed to speak with an officer. At first, he claimed the pair were just doing laundry and got some candy from the vending machine. When the officer explained there was video of the pair, Mahanke apologized for trying to say he didn’t do it.

Mahanke explained he went in the bathroom and made his way to the office. Once inside, he stated he thought about it, and then left the room. He said he later came back to the room and removed the change box before the duo left the building.

Mahanke then stated that once they got home, Smith found out what he did and freaked out on him, saying they needed to bring the change box back. Mahanke explained at that point they went back and he put the change box back in the office. He said he had gotten around $100 in quarters and maybe $20 in cash.

After admitting to the burglary on Jan. 8, Mahanke said he had done the same thing at the EZWash back in December. He also said Smith was not aware of the December burglary, and that he had done the burglaries because he and Smith were hard up for cash. He said they had a lot of bills, and that his addiction did not help as he needed money to buy meth.

Smith was interviewed a second time, and agreed with Mahanke’s version of events concerning the Jan. 8 burglary.