Authorities arrest 1, seek another after items stolen from benefit for Andrea Kruger's family - Omaha.com
Published Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 12:00 am / Updated at 3:48 pm
Authorities arrest 1, seek another after items stolen from benefit for Andrea Kruger's family

A man suspected of stealing items from a fundraiser for the family of homicide victim Andrea Kruger is in jail, and law enforcement officials are searching for a female accomplice.

Jeffrey A. Johnson, 50, of Omaha, was booked into jail Monday on suspicion of felony theft, said Chief Deputy Thomas Wheeler of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Johnson also was booked on an unrelated domestic assault and obstructing a peace officer, both misdemeanors.

Wheeler said an arrest warrant for felony theft has been issued for Kristin V. Hunt, 26, of Omaha. Johnson and Hunt were identified selling the stolen items — a 50-inch plasma TV and a framed picture of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium — at a pawn shop, Wheeler said.

Nikki Richardson, who owns Deja Vu Lounge, where Kruger worked, organized the Sept. 27 fundraiser for Michael-Ryan Kruger and the Krugers’ children, Jadyn, Ava and Hartley.

Richardson said she recognized the mugshot of Johnson as that of a customer.

“He’s been in the bar several times, but I didn’t know his name because he never ran a (credit) card,” Richardson said. “The night of the auction, he just showed up and started helping in the back room washing dishes.”

Kruger, 33, was shot and killed Aug. 21 while returning home from her bartending job. Nikko Jenkins and several others have been charged in connection with her death.

Richardson said she got a call Friday from the E-Z Money Pawn Shop at 4860 S. 137th St., asking her to come and identify the stolen items. They are valued at approximately $1,000, she said.

“The lady told me she saw the story in the newspaper the day before and realized she probably had (the stolen items),” Richardson said. “Everything just worked out like it was meant to be. I’m so happy we got them both back.”

The pawn shop owner notified the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, and deputies began looking for Johnson and Hunt, Wheeler said.

The TV and Memorial Stadium photograph will be returned to the Deja Vu Lounge, which is near 178th and Pacific Streets, and sold at an Oct. 19 golf tournament that also will benefit the Kruger family.

Richardson said looking at the mugshot of Johnson “really creeped me out,” because he had talked to her about surveillance cameras in the bar.

“He told me that (surveillance) was what he did for a living,” she said. “I didn’t know he was actually checking us out.”

Timeline: Four killings tied to Nikko Jenkins

Contact the writer: Kevin Cole

kevin.cole@owh.com    |   402-444-1272    |  

Kevin Cole covers workings of police, courts and government and writes features about interesting subjects in Omaha and the surrounding counties.

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