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Kansas City woman gets 45 years in prison for string of home burglaries in Saline County

Friday, July 26, 2013

Karen Lunn
(Submitted photo)
Saline County's Prosecutor Don Stouffer said he was pleased with a stiff sentence handed down Monday to a Kansas City woman who pleaded guilty to a string of burglaries in Marshall and Sweet Springs.

Karen D. Lunn, 45, was accused of seven counts of burglary in the 2nd degree, seven counts of theft and one count of stealing a motor vehicle. She received several sentences for those counts, which run consecutively and total 45 years.

"I am pleased we were able to get her off the streets for a long, long time," Stouffer said.

The Missouri Highway Patrol, Marshall Police Department and Saline County's Sheriff's office assisted in investigating the burglaries, which started in late 2010.

From Sept. 21, to Dec. 10, Lunn broke into the homes of three Marshall residents and four Sweet Springs residents, leaving with several thousands of dollars in numerous items, including jewelry, piggy banks, guns and electronics, among others.

Five of the seven burglaries occurred on the same day, Dec. 10, when Lunn broke into one Marshall and four Sweet Springs homes.

"This was someone who didn't want to work, who the only thing she knew what to do was commit crimes," Stouffer said.

Lunn has a prior history of criminal charges, according to court documents.

On Dec. 11, 2010, Lunn stole a 1999 Toyota Tacoma truck from a Casey's gas station on Eastwood Street in Marshall. The truck was later recovered on North Lake Drive in Marshall, but was missing two rifles, a handgun, ammunition, a GPS and other miscellaneous hunting items.

A break in the case came in Dec. 29, 2010, when a Bates County Deputy Sheriff stopped a vehicle in Bates County driven by a resident of Hartwood. The driver was in possession of two stolen handguns, both which were discovered to have been stolen at the burglaries in Saline County. The driver told the Bates County deputy the stolen handguns came from Lunn, whom the driver said he personally knew.

The driver said there were additional guns at his residence in Vernon County, 14 of them which came from Lunn. Deputies were able to trace the guns to several of the burglaries in Saline County.

Lunn was arrested on Jan. 18, 2011 in Clay County, where deputies found her and her nephew inside a residence committing a burglary.

Lunn's nephew, who is also from Kansas City, was arrested and cooperated with the investigation.

"Without his testimony we simply wouldn't have had a case," Stouffer said.

The nephew, Matthew Lunn, 20, explained in detail each of the robberies.

"After arriving at the Saline County Sheriff's Department, I interviewed Matthew about the burglaries," wrote an investigating officer in the probable cause statement. "He told me Karen encouraged him to participate in the burglaries so he could make money to help support his father. He told me when they were done, Karen took him to his aunt's house in Marshall and she took the stolen items to Kansas City and returned to Marshall with a large amount of cash. Matthew told me Karen gave him $60 for his assistance in the burglaries."

The Matthew Lunn was charged with one count of burglary in the second degree and one count of theft. He was given five years probation.

Stouffer said though the sentence was lengthy, it was likely Karen Lunn would not serve the full 45 years.

"Unless she commits another crime while in prison, I imagine she might get out after serving some time, maybe 10 years or more," Stouffer said.

Contact Carlos Restrepo at crestrepo@marshallnews.com