Teens suspected of stealing dying woman's ring charged

By John Boyd, Web Content Producer, jboyd@kwch.com
Published On: Dec 30 2013 11:57:39 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 08 2014 06:08:18 PM CST
WICHITA, Kan. -

Three 19-year-olds accused of stealing a wedding ring from a dying woman in a fast food drive thru have been formally charged.

Quanique Thomas-Hammeen, Daquantrius Johnson and Keith Hickels made their first appearance in Sedgwick County District Court Tuesday. Prosecutors charged the three men with robbery.

Police said the men stole a wedding ring and other valuable from Danielle Zimmerman, who collapsed in the drive thru at a Taco Bell restaurant.

Zimmerman died from a brain aneurism.

A Crime Stoppers tip led to two arrests, while Hickels turned himself in to authorities Monday.

The suspects remain jailed on $200,000 bond. They will return to court Jan. 23 for a preliminary hearing.

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A third suspect has been arrested, accused of stealing a wedding ring from a dying woman.

Danielle Zimmerman was at the drive-thru of a Wichita Taco Bell when she suffered an aneurism.

Instead of calling for help, someone took her purse, phone and ring.  Zimmerman later died and her family pleaded for the ring to be returned.

Zimmerman's cousin Justin Erhard says the family is relieved to hear about the arrests, but his focus is to get Dani's ring back for her husband and their two kids.

Police tell us they have found some of Zimmerman's stolen items, but not the ring.

The crime caught the attention of Wichita Crime Stoppers.  On Friday a reward of up to $2,500 was offered for information leading to an arrest.  Within 20 minutes police had what they needed.

"The very first tip that came in led to the arrest," says Gordon Bassham with Crime Stoppers.

The ring is still missing, but two 19-year old men have been arrested thanks to the Crime Stoppers tip. The third 19-year-old turned himself into the probation office Monday night.

"This type of person doesn't deserve a place in our society," says Bassham.
It's just one of several high profile successes for Crime Stoppers this year including another one this weekend.  A tip led to the arrest of the driver in a fatal hit and run that happened last fall.

"That's two very big successes the span of a couple of days," says Bassham who said Crime Stoppers also helped in another fatal hit and run this year and a homicide.

The numbers show the program is working.

Crime Stoppers received more than 2,000 tips this year, a 25-percent increase over last year.

Those tips have led to 125 arrests.

During Tuesday's city council meeting, Mayor Carl Brewer made a plea for anyone with information in the case to come forward.

"This is not tolerable," Brewer said. "This is not accepted in our community and I want each and every citizen to demonstrate that you will not stand for it."

Anyone with additional information in the case is asked to call police, or make an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers at 267-2111.

The case will be presented to the District Attorney's office for official charges. Wichita Police said the three suspects are expected to appear in court to face formal charges Wednesday afternoon.

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Police want to talk with the driver of a silver car that left the scene after the incident.

Police say that silver vehicle was in front of 43-year-old Danielle Zimmerman's car when she passed out from a possible aneurysm at the Taco Bell on E. Harry.  Zimmerman's credit cards, cash, cell phone and wedding ring are still missing.  Her purse and check book were found near South I-135.

The manager of the restaurant says he saw a man get out of the silver car and go back to Zimmerman's car, but left by the time the manager went outside.

The Wichita Crime Commission is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest in the case.

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Wichita police are looking for the person who stole from a woman who had passed out after suffering a possible brain aneurysm in a drive-thru lane.

It happened Sunday evening at the Taco Bell in the 3700 block of E. Harry.

Police say, while Danielle Zimmerman was unconscious, someone stole her iPhone, purse and wedding ring.

Zimmerman was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but died Monday afternoon.

Her family tells us, they just want the wedding ring back.  They're showing pictures of it to local pawn shops and hope the thief will come forward and return it.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at (316) 267-2111.