JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — When Linda Aldous came home to find a dark blue Hyundai Santa Fe in the driveway of her Jefferson Township home, she assumed someone had come to visit her.
But she quickly learned something was wrong when she walked around to the back of her house.
“I saw the screen out of my window and I thought, ’That’s not good,’” she said. “I started getting scared so I went into my garage and I locked the door and I called my husband.”
Her husband called neighbor Monty Caldwell who came to help.
“He walked up and he looked in window and goes, ‘Is anybody supposed to be in your house?’
“And I said, ‘No.’
“And he said, ‘There’s a lady in your house.’”
The woman inside the house was later identified as 35-year-old Jaime Rankin.
Police say she had been dropped off at the house by the women in the SUV, 44-year-old Kimberly Myers and 59-year-old Dolores Striker.
Once inside, Rankin swiped a pillow case off the bed and filled it with more than $5,000 worth of jewelry.
She fled out the front door and was followed by neighbor Monty Caldwell. He cornered her once in front of his home, but she got away.
He then followed her into the woods where she dropped the jewelry before taking off to another neighbor’s house where she asked to use the phone.
Police were later able to identify and arrest all three women after another burglary victim who knew the suspects came forward with a Facebook photo.
As for Linda Aldous, she has a new dog that’s giving her a sense of safety in her home, but she’s mainly glad to have her jewelry back.
All three suspects were placed in the Fayette County Jail.
Sources tell KDKA they may also be responsible for numerous other burglaries across Fayette County.