Theft victims say suspects pretended to be homeless, pregnant

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INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 26, 2015) – An Indianapolis couple say they have become the latest victims of another couple who are pretending to be homeless and pregnant in order to steal from those who take them into their homes.

The victims, who asked not to be identified, say they encountered a young man and woman last Friday, panhandling for money outside the Marathon gas station located at the corner of 10th Street and Morris Street.  At first, the victims offered to give the young couple a few dollars.  Then, they struck up a conversation.

“And she was saying she was three months pregnant, and they were trying to come up with money for a hotel for the night,” said one of the victims.

Despite some reservations, the victims decided to let the couple stay with them at their home in the 800 block of Warren Street.  The victims say they expected to allow the couple to stay with them for a few days until they could come up with a place to go.

But less than 24 hours later, after going out for a couple hours, the victims came home to find 24-year-old Blake Burnau and 19-year-old Sabrina Whobrey gone.

“They took my Xbox, four controllers, all the games to my Xbox and her bluetooth speaker,” said one of the victims.

The victims contacted police to report the incident.  The next day, they received word that the serial numbers on their stolen items had been flagged at the EZ Pawn shop located at 10th and Tibbs.  A manager at the EZ Pawn shop confirmed he had received a call from an IMPD detective, asking him to put a hold on the items, which were brought in Saturday.

“We’re trying to do something nice for you, and you go and steal from us,” one victim said.

After the theft, the victims remembered that Whobrey had borrowed a cell phone to call her family.  The victims called the number, which was saved in the phone, and contacted Whobrey’s mother and grandmother.  The family members told the victims that Whobrey is not pregnant, and she and Burnau had pulled the “homeless and pregnant” scheme before.  They said the two had actually used it to steal from members of their own family.

The family members also told the victims that Whobrey and Burnau were mixed up in drugs and were stealing to feed their addictions.  They expressed concern for their wellbeing and said they hope the couple are found by police soon for their own safety.

“If they return the stuff, we’ll drop charges,” said one of the victims.  “If not, then we’re gonna proceed with charges and things are gonna have to happen.”