Crime

Three are charged in theft of Christmas presents in Independence

Wendy Y. Conn, 34, Allen M. Cates, 24, and Travis J. Bates, 36, all of Independence, are each charged with first-degree burglary and theft after a home was broken into Thursday and items, including Christmas presents, were taken.
Wendy Y. Conn, 34, Allen M. Cates, 24, and Travis J. Bates, 36, all of Independence, are each charged with first-degree burglary and theft after a home was broken into Thursday and items, including Christmas presents, were taken. KRT

Jackson County prosecutors charged three people Friday in the theft of Christmas presents in Independence.

Thieves broke into an Independence home Thursday and stole presents and cash before fleeing in a stolen vehicle. Police later arrested three people after a high-speed chase.

Prosecutors said Wendy Y. Conn, 34, Allen M. Cates, 24, and Travis J. Bates, 36, all of Independence, are each charged with first-degree burglary and theft. Cates is charged with felony resisting arrest in connection with the chase. Bates and Conn face misdemeanor charges for allegedly being in the vehicle during the chase.

According to court records, a woman and her teenage daughter were home and hid upstairs as their house was burglarized. The woman provided police with the license plate of the pickup truck the thieves were using. The truck had been stolen at a convenience store two days earlier, according to court records.

The chase ended in Lee’s Summit after the truck crashed. A Jackson County sheriff’s deputy arrested Cates at the scene. Other officers tracked footprints in the snow and found Conn and Bates hiding in a shed.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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