On Jan. 28, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office responded to a suspicious incident at a business on the 100 block of Salem Drive in the Town of Ithaca. A nearby resident who made the initial call said they heard people in the business after hours. Once deputies arrived on the scene, they located a running Jeep Wrangler parked in the driveway and quickly figured a burglary was in progress.
Deputies quickly set up a perimeter and confronted the male and female, to keep them from fleeing through the rear of the building. The two ran back inside, after which the male attempted to escape through the front of the building. He was promptly taken into custody. Upon searching the inside of the building, deputies located the female suspect.
The male was identified as Daniel P. Samson, age 36 of Groton and the female was identified as Tressa E. Mikula, age 36 of Groton. During the course of the investigation, deputies discovered that Samson and Mikula forced entry using a hatchet and pry bar. The two then used power tools to break into an interior safe before deputies interrupted them.
Later on, deputies also found Samson and Mikula were operating a vehicle that was stolen from the Summer Hill area in Cayuga County. The Sheriff’s Office has reason to believe the two may be responsible for several burglaries within Tompkins County and surrounding counties. Investigators are in the tedious process of connecting the two to these previous reports.
“I am incredibly proud of the prompt and diligent response of our entire overnight shift,” Sheriff Derek R. Osborne said. “This capture will go a long way in stopping the rash of property crimes that has inflicted our community and others.”
Mikula and Samson were both charged with Burglary in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony, and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree - Vehicle, a Class E Felony. Samson was further charged with Possession of Burglar Tools, a Class A Misdemeanor and several traffic violations including Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree, an unclassified misdemeanor. However, additional charges are anticipated.
The Sheriff’s Office received assistance from the Ithaca Police Department, the Cayuga Heights Police Department, and New York State Police officers. Mikula and Samson were arraigned in the Town of Ithaca Court. Samson was placed in the Tompkins County Jail without bail, and Mikula was released on her own recognizance.