Five Arrested in Connection with Downtown Burglaries

An ongoing investigation by Cheyenne Police Detectives resulted in the arrest of five Cheyenne residents for felony theft of valuables, including 29 firearms. Two arrests were made in late December 2023, and three additional arrests were made on January 4, 2024.

Timeline of Events:
On November 22, 2023, Cheyenne, Wyoming residents, 37-year-old Michael Townsend and 43-year-old Kenneth Cain, were arrested in Abilene, Texas. During the arrest, a large collection of valuable coins was recovered. Investigators with the Abilene Police Department contacted Cheyenne Police Officers to notify them of the arrest and suspected stolen property.

On December 12, it was reported that three unoccupied houses in the downtown area had been burglarized. According to the victim, several firearms and thousands of collectible coins, valued at over $250,000 had been stolen from the locations. It was at this point that detectives were able to make a connection between the arrests in Abilene and the burglaries reported in Cheyenne.

On December 20, search warrants were executed for Cain’s residence in the 300 block of Medicine Bow Avenue and two vehicles that were parked nearby. During the search, investigators located duffle bags full of coins and two stolen firearms – a total value of approximately $19,000.

Kenneth Cain and 40-year-old Desiree Pantoja – were subsequently arrested and booked into the
Laramie County Jail on charges related to the burglary.

Through ongoing investigative work, detectives learned that a storage shed in the 1900 block of South Greeley Highway was being used by Michael Townsend and 27-year-old Bailee Martinez to store stolen property. On January 4, detectives served a search warrant at the location and at their residence in the 400 block of Murry Road. Numerous silver coins were recovered, consistent with those reported stolen. Martinez and Townsend were both arrested and booked into the Laramie County Jail for felony possession of stolen property.

Detectives also learned that a fifth suspect, 35-year-old Timothy Duke, was involved in the burglaries. On January 4, he was arrested and booked into the Laramie County Jail on an outstanding extraditable warrant out of Colorado, unrelated to the case.

On January 4 and January 5, detectives served search warrants at Duke’s residence in the 5800 block of Lunsford Avenue and also searched his vehicle, a Nissan Titan pickup truck. Numerous stolen items were recovered during the searches, including gold and silver coins valued at over $5,000, bags containing thousands of dollars in cash, checks belonging to the victim, antique silver dishware, a handwritten note from the victim, and four school yearbooks belonging to the victim’s mother.

Detectives then learned that an enclosed trailer parked in the 200 block of South Greeley Highway was frequently used by Duke. On January 9, a search warrant was served on the trailer – 29 stolen firearms were recovered along with a box of silver coins valued at over $1,000.

Additional charges related to the burglary are pending.