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Crank sentenced to prison on burglary charges

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Jessica Crank

by Aaron Gibson Dec 23, 2015

The first person to be sentenced in an alleged burglary group that may have spanned three counties was handed a two year prison sentence Thursday, Dec 17 in Brown County Court of Common Pleas.

Jessica Crank of Mount Orab pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree felony burglary and received a two-year prison sentence, credited with 51 days for jail time already served.

As part of her sentence, Crank will be subject to a mandatory three years of post release control upon completion of her time in prison.

Crank is one of four indicted in a group suspected of being behind thirty or more burglaries in Brown, Clermont and Clinton Counties, according to detectives.

However, she has only been linked to a single burglary in Brown County.

According to the indictment, Jessica Crank, along with her husband Brian Crank, allegedly stole cash and a Smith and Wesson 9 mm handgun from victims Todd and Christa Cook on Oct 23. A probable cause affidavit filed in Brown County Municipal Court says the two were identified as suspects after video recovered from a surveillance system appeared to show the two committing the crime. The affidavit further accuses the two of removing the DVR box for the camera system and disposing of it along the railroad tracks behind the victim’s home on Hess Road in Pike Township, where it was found by the victims.

Jessica and Brian Crank were former tenants of a property owned by the victims, according to the affidavit.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Brown County Municipal Court, on Oct 26, Todd Cook, a victim in the burglary, allegedly solicited or procured Doug Watson to assault Jessica and Brian Crank. Both Cranks were transported to Mt. Orab Mercy Hospital upon being attacked shortly after midnight, according to court records.

Cook was charged with two counts of second-degree felony complicity to assault and Watson charged with two counts of second-degree felony assault. On Dec 1, the two pleaded guilty in Municipal Court to one count of first-degree misdemeanor assault and received a sentence of a suspended 180 days in jail, one year probation and 80 hours community service. Both must also undergo anger management classes and avoid contact with Jessica and Brian Crank.

Brian Crank is expected in court for a pre-trial hearing on Dec 29 in Brown County Court of Common Pleas. He was indicted in November on five counts of second-degree felony burglary, three counts of third-degree felony grand theft when the property is a firearm or dangerous ordnance, three counts of fifth-degree felony theft, one count of fourth-degree felony safecracking, one count of fourth-degree felony theft from a person in a protected class, three counts of fifth-degree felony theft, one count of fifth-degree felony receiving stolen property, and one count of first-degree felony engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Crank also has been indicted on similar charges in Clermont County Court of Common Pleas.

A plea/trial hearing is expected on Jan 11, 2016 in Brown County Court of Common Pleas for accused burglary group member Jeffery Carlier. He was indicted in November on seven counts of second-degree felony burglary, three counts of fifth-degree felony theft, one count of fourth-degree felony safecracking, two counts of fourth-degree felony theft from a person in a protected class, two counts of third-degree felony theft when the property is a firearm or dangerous ordnance, one count of fourth-degree felony receiving stolen property, and one count of first-degree felony engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Carlier also has been indicted on similar charges in Clermont County Court of Common Pleas.

The final member identified as a suspected member of the burglary group, Sherry Carlier, was indicted Oct 29 in Clermont County Court of Common Pleas on one count of third-degree felony tampering with evidence. She is expected to be sentenced Jan 4, 2016, according to court records.

Clinton County has not yet indicted any members of the group, where detectives believe they may have committed an additional four burglaries.

–Published in The Brown County Press Volume 43 No. 21

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