Jefferson County sheriff's deputy terminated, charged with burglary

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday, Dec. 17, a deputy was fired after being charged with felony burglary. 

Authorities say 29-year-old Janelle Gericke had been employed by the sheriff's office since February 2016, and was assigned to the jail division. 

The sheriff's office says during the early stages of the investigation, evidence was discovered Gericke may be involved in illegal conduct while off-duty. Officials say evidence showed Gericke may have attempted to gain access to a house without consent. 

According to a criminal complaint, from February 2018 and June 2019, Gericke targeted homes to burglarize knowing no one was home. In most instances, investigators said the homeowners were attending funerals. 

Authorities say if someone returned as Gericke was trying to burglarize the home, she would explain she was picking up stuff sold on Facebook and got the address mixed up. 

Investigators were able to obtain a fingerprint from one of the burglaries, and determined it belonged to Gericke. 

Gericke was terminated from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office on July 3, 2019. 

The investigation was turned over to the Wisconsin Department of Justice-Division of Criminal Investigation Public Integrity Unit. 

Gericke has been charged with one count of burglary to a building or dwelling. She's due in court on Dec. 30. 

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