ITHACA, N.Y. –– The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department were able to stop a burglary in progress on Tuesday night.

On Jan. 28, 2020 at 11:56 p.m., Tompkins County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a business located in the 100 block of Salem Drive in the Town of Ithaca for a reported suspicious incident.

The call was made by a nearby resident who said they heard people inside the business after hours. Upon arrival, deputies located a running Jeep Wrangler parked in the driveway and determined that they had come upon a burglary in progress.

After setting up a perimeter, deputies confronted a male and a female attempting to flee from the rear of the building. The two immediately ran back inside and the male attempted to escape through the front of the building where he was taken into custody without incident. During a search of 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, it appeared that Samson and Mikula forced entry into the business using a hatchet and pry bar. Using power tools, the suspects made entry into an interior safe before being interrupted by responding deputies. It was also discovered that the vehicle Mikula and Samson were operating was a stolen vehicle out of the Summer Hill Area in Cayuga County.

The Sheriff’s Office believes that the two may be responsible for several burglaries within Tompkins County, and surrounded counties. Investigators are in the process of connecting the two to previous burglary 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.”

The Sheriff’s Office received assistance from the Ithaca Police Department, Cayuga Heights Police Department, and the New York State Police.

Mikula and Samson were both charged with Burglary in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony, 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 traffic violations including Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree, an Unclassified Misdemeanor. Additional charges are anticipated.

Deputies arraigned both Mikula and Samson at the Town of Ithaca Court. Samson was placed in the Tompkins County Jail without bail, and Mikula was released on her own recognizance.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com