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Cat burglar caught with jewelry



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September 19, 2012 - The age-old adage of diamonds being a girl's best friend was not true for Orion Township resident Tonya Denise Sievertsen, when she was caught with over 1,000 pieces of stolen jewelry on Sept. 7.

"She had a ton of jewelry and a lot of high end stuff," said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. "There were a lot of hand bags including some from Louis Vuitton and a number of house hold items. She was in the process of being evicted and she was getting stuff to furnish her new place of living.

"It was just a lot of stuff. Whether it's $100,000 or $200,000 or more, she's already crushed the highest felonious thresholds. We've already had nine homeowners claim items."

Sievertsen alleged crime spree began to tarnish when Oakland County Sheriffs deputies in Orion received reports of a burglary in Rochester Hills. The report contained information that would eventually lead to the identification of a suspect involved with a series of home invasions in Oakland County. Sheriff's deputies and detectives were looking into multiple burglaries and the incident in Rochester Hill matched a pattern they were investigating.

"It was great police work," said Bouchard. "We originally identified a vehicle that belonged to her, but she wasn't in the car (when it was stopped.) We were able to identify some stuff in the car and we ultimately moved on to the place she was living. It was a good stop by the deputies and good old-fashioned gumshoe work on the other details."

Sievertsen was eventually arrested at her Orion Township residence on Pleasant Ridge. Deputies found a number of reported stolen items while a subsequent search was conducted at both the suspect's home and her storage unit in Auburn Hills.

In the storage unit, investigators found a "very large amount of stolen property."

Orion Township Substation Commander Dan Toth believes more cases will come forth and asked township residents to call 248-393-0090 if they believe anything was stolen.

"There is actually so much, it's just huge," he said. "There is just more property than you can fathom and when you get down to individual pieces of jewelry - there's just a lot of it, but there is a process. We're not going to make this a rummage sale."

Sievertsen, who had prior criminal convictions, confessed to five home invasions in Orion, one in Independence Township and one in Rochester Hills. Since her capture, deputies in Orion Township have found an additional five homes claiming property involved with the case. She was lodged at Oakland County Jail pending more arrest warrants. Bouchard said she was allegedly supporting a drug habit.

She was arraigned on Sept. 10 in front of 52-3 District Court Magistrate Malinda Balian. She was set with a $25,000 cash bond. More charges are expected.

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