Amy Lynn Ziegenfus ransacked home, stole $25,000+ in jewelry & other items, police say

Posted: 11:13 AM EDT Oct 23, 2013

A woman is facing charges for ransacking the Northampton County home of her friend's grandmother last month and stealing more than 200 items, including jewelry, worth more than $25,000, officials said.

Amy Lynn Ziegenfus, also known as Amy Lynn Anthony, caused $238.50 in damage breaking into Brenda Smith's home in the 500 block of Grouse Road, Moore Township, sometime between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Sept. 5.

She left the place in shambles before making off with jewelry, food and clothing as well as pet supplies, electronic gear and a vacuum cleaner, they said.

Police found frozen food items outside a rear door near a kitchen window; food thrown around the kitchen; earrings on the living room floor; earrings and other jewelry and empty jewelry boxes thrown on the bed and floor in Smith's and her granddaughter Corryn Weiss' bedroom, officials said.

A closet, the bathroom and the basement were also trashed, they added.

A neighbor told police she saw a white convertible that Ziegenfus was known to drive at the crime scene, and another woman told them that Ziegenfus phoned her around 4 p.m. to say she had "destroyed" Smith's place, officials said.

Some of the stolen property was found Sept. 6 under a tarp behind a home at 701 Cherry Hill Road, Moore Township, where Ziegenfus lives with her boyfriend, Gary Thomas, officials said.

Three days later, more of the stolen merchandise was recovered when Weiss turned over a trash bag full of items to her grandmother that Weiss said she was given by Ziegenfus' son, Zach Martin, officials said.

Among the items in the trash bag were a broken porcelain doll, clothes, a computer keyboard, a calculator, a stapler, candles, bug spray, a hair dryer and a garage door opener, they said.

When police finally located Ziegenfus on Sept. 11, she was sitting with her father, Russell Anthony, near a car behind the home of Thomas Mutz at 3000 Mauch Chuck Road in Whitehall Township, Lehigh Co., officials said.

Ziegenfus turned over a black case with a pearl earring, earring backings, costume jewelry and a black stone on a chain, officials said, adding that Ziegenfus said she found the earring backings in a cabinet in her Cherry Hill Road home.

Smith later identified the jewelry as hers, officials said.

The case Ziegenfus gave to police also contained used needles and syringes and a bottle of clear liquid, officials noted.

At headquarters Ziegenfus admitted she had been in Smith's house with Smith's granddaughter two weeks before the break-in, but Ziegenfus twice denied she was involved in the burglary, officials said.

Mutz told police he "went out on a limb" to help Ziegenfus by buying the white convertible on Aug. 3 and giving it to her to drive about a week later, despite "stories about her drinking and carrying on," officials said.

Mutz also said that Ziegenfus "distanced herself" from him soon after he gave her the car, and that she returned the convertible to him either on Sept. 4 or 5, officials noted.

Police later found the backing for an earring in the white convertible Ziegenfus was driving on the day of the burglary, officials said.

Ziegenfus, 36, was arraigned Monday night on charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, criminal trespass and criminal mischief and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $50,000 bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. Oct. 31.