- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Of all the things two burglars took from Judy Crowe’s Taylorsville home Oct. 16, the memories are what she will miss the most.
Crowe, 68, took a quick trip to town around noon that Saturday and returned to her house on Mount Washington Road at 12:30 p.m. to find a man and a woman coming out the door with a television. She knew her home was being burglarized, but it was later that she realized the suspects got away with much more than a few of her belongings. They took precious family heirlooms that conjured up memories of her late husband, Lewis, and keepsakes that were promised to her grandchildren.
“When I got there, they had my driveway blocked. I came down the back side of my house and they were coming out with the TV. I was really mad. I wasn’t scared, I was mad,” Crowe said.
According to the Kentucky State Police, the two suspects allegedly involved were Brandon Denham, 25, and Julia Phillips, 29, both of Louisville. Despite attempts from Denham to cover his vehicle’s license plate with a blanket, Crowe was able to copy down the plate number and obtain a vehicle description. She then called 911 as the suspects fled her property.
“I had stepped out of (my) Blazer to get my cell phone. I don’t know if they felt like I had a weapon, they didn’t throw the stuff down, they eased it down real easy. They ran away around the corner and I went around the corner. He was trying to hide the license plate with a blanket,” Crowe said.
Later that day KSP and Louisville Metro Police arrested the suspects at their Louisville residence on Auburndale Avenue, according to KSP.
Crowe identified the suspects and they are being held at the Shelby County Detention Center facing felony theft charges. Denham also faces charges in Jefferson County on a felon being in possession of a handgun. Denham’s bond was set at $30,000 and Phillips’ was posted at $25,295.
Crowe said when the incident was occurring, she briefly tried to grab Phillips but decided she should let her flee.
“I was going at her. I think I might have touched the corner of her shirt. I
wasn’t thinking right. How it wound up was much better,” she said.
“When I seen them coming out, I wasn’t scared. I just went toward them and asked them what they thought they were doing. They had a scared look on their faces,” she said.
Although Crowe admitted there was no good time to experience a burglary, it was particularly rough for her to deal with the incident because her husband died in March after battling cancer for more than two years. She said the burglars took a lock box that contained legal papers and memorabilia that she might not ever get back.
“They found my lock box thrown out on Seatonville Road. They are keeping it for evidence. I’ve been trying to remember what papers were in it,” she said.
She also estimated more than $4,000 worth of valuables, including money, a television, her son’s XBox, more than 50 games, her son’s class ring and several of her husband’s items including a watch and his lifetime collection of Case knives were taken. Perhaps one of the less expensive but particularly tough items for Crowe to lose was her family’s digital camera. She said her husband’s last Christmas with the grandkids and other important moments in the last year of his life were on the camera.
“It’s things that the insurance can’t replace. Nobody can replace them. Those pictures can never be replaced,” she said. “They took all of my husband’s memories and all of his stuff that he was leaving his grandchildren.”
Thankfully Crowe said the suspects had only gotten through a small portion of her home when she returned. Items like her jewelry box had not been discovered and some of the stolen goods were recovered by police. However, much of the recovered material is being held as evidence.
“The state police have been great. I would have given them anything that would have helped them catch those people,” she said.
Crowe said on the day of the burglary, her house was locked but that she failed to lock one of her garage windows. She said she and her family had lived in the community for years and were very trusting. Crowe said she wasn’t afraid of being at home by herself but she now double-checks all of the windows and locks.
But she said no number of locks will keep someone out who wants to get in your home.
“I’m uncomfortable about leaving home because I don’t know what I’m going to come back to,” she said. “I don’t want any sympathy. I turned out better than a lot of other people would have.”
As of Monday morning, neither suspect had posted bond. The two have been arraigned in Spencer County District Court and are awaiting a preliminary hearing on Oct. 29 at 10:30 a.m.
In Crowe’s case, she was able to avoid an altercation with the suspects and called law enforcement. KSP Public Affairs Officer Trooper Ron Turley said any time a resident happens upon a potential theft or crime in action they should follow some simple guidelines to stay safe:
• Be observant of the scene. Look for doors or windows ajar or any other suspicious signs.
• Document what you see but do not approach any perpetrators. Call 911 immediately.
• If you see any perpetrators exiting the building, try to write down a description of the persons or any vehicles on site but do not get near them.
• Gather as much information as possible about the scene but do not touch or move anything. It is the job of law enforcement officials to conduct the investigation.
• Never try to approach or apprehend the perpetrators.
Turley said generally a person’s senses will give a good indicator of an unsafe situation.
“Generally our bodies will tell us. Pay attention to your senses,” he said.