Two women charged with porch hacking after surveillance system caught the act

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Authorities quickly apprehended two women charged with porch piracy after a Shawnee Co. resident’s surveillance system caught them in the act.

The Shawnee Co. Sheriff’s Office says Chelsea D. Mullinix, 35, and Kelsey L. Sanstra, 24, both of Topeka, could face multiple theft charges — including conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of stolen property — after a quick investigation by detectives.

The sheriff’s office noted that the investigation was sparked by a resident’s prompt notification of a package theft.

On Thursday, Aug. 25, officials said a stolen package was captured on a homeowner’s surveillance camera in the 2300 block of SW Indian Trail. Detectives were tipped off and quickly identified the suspect seen on video taking the packages.

Due to the resident’s prompt reporting and sharing of the video with law enforcement, officials say an operation has taken place and all stolen property has been recovered.

As a result, the sheriff’s office said both Mullinix and Sanstra were arrested and questioned by detectives. Both were incarcerated at the Shawnee Co. Correctional Department for theft, possession of stolen property, and conspiracy to commit theft.

Mullinix has also been booked for several traffic violations.

Officials said formal charges would be brought by the Shawnee Co. District Attorney’s Office after review. The incident is still under investigation.

Shawnee Co. Sheriff Brian Hill said he appreciates the resident who promptly notified law enforcement and said their actions — along with CCTV footage and officials’ quick actions — ultimately led to the timely capture of two Porch Pirates.

“We continue to encourage our citizens to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity,” Sheriff Hill said. “Together we will make Shawnee County a safer place for all of us.”

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