PARIS — A day after arresting a Woodstock couple for a burglary spree that shattered a rural community’s sense of security, police are asking for good Samaritans to return the stolen property.  

To date, only a fraction of items — mostly rare coins — have been returned by a “handful” of citizens who have stepped forward, Oxford County Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Landis said Monday. 

The amount pales in comparison to what was stolen: Landis said an early estimate on the total value, mostly cash and jewelry, is as high as $25,000.

“A lot of people were affected,” Landis said Tuesday. “Sometimes (police see cases with) a higher cash amount, but this is certainly a big case.” 

As the investigation uncovers additional, unknown victims, police have shied from giving a definitive number of homes hit, simply calling them “numerous.”

Now police are working with pawnshops and asking for anyone who suspects that they might have purchased and received stolen goods to give them back to their owners. 

Advertisement

“Some of the property is recoverable, but most is not,” Landis said. “Some has been pawned and is traceable, but most of it was sold to unknown people. If friendly citizens want to come forward, we’d love to hear from them.”

On Monday, police arrested 32-year-old Corey Douzart of Gilead and Ashley Howard, 20, of Woodstock as the main suspects behind the thefts.

Each are charged with multiple counts of burglary and theft; Douzart, who is originally from Lousiana, has an active arrest warrant on burglary and theft charges from that state, though he is not likely to be extradited, according to Landis. 

Douzart has been denied bail, while Howard’s bail was set at $5,000 cash. Both are expected in court Wednesday. 

Police say that the couple’s spree crossed Oxford County, targeting at least six towns. They allegedly waited until homeowners left and then forced their way through doors and windows, quickly trading the seized items or selling them for drugs.  

Over the past several weeks, the thefts seemed focused heavily on Greenwood and Woodstock, where the duo were apparently staying at a home belonging to Howard’s mother.

Advertisement

While mineral collector Dennis Gross, 66, was out of the house, he said thieves forced their way into his Bryant Pond home and took three tourmaline crystals worth $1,200. He doesn’t expect to see them again.  

“I’d like to see the stuff back, but I don’t think they will (be returned),” Gross said. “It could have been worse; they just grabbed what was obvious.”

Gross said he’s been robbed before while living in Illinois and wasn’t as concerned as some neighbors, as burglary is “just a part of living anywhere.” 

The Oxford County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 743-9554. 

[email protected] 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.