Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Yellow House store owners to have party to thank supporters

Attorney to be at event to answer questions for suspects in crime

March 2, 2006


In response to the threat of criminal charges hanging over them, the owners of a local used-appliance shop are adopting an unusual tactic: They're throwing a party, complete with gourmet roadkill.

Owners of the Yellow House store - who have been under police scrutiny since late last year, suspected of running a fencing ring - are planning an open house from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday with free food for the public. They said their attorney, Sarah Swain, will be on hand to answer questions.

Owners Guy and Carrie Neighbors said the purpose is to thank people who have supported them, and to show that they're not ashamed of their business.

"This is so stressful, you just wouldn't believe," Carrie Neighbors said of the ongoing investigation. "I don't know who to trust and who not to trust."

On Dec. 2, Lawrence Police raided the store and the Neighborses' home at 1104 Andover St., with assistance from the IRS, postal inspectors and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. At the time, police said it appeared to be one of the largest, most sophisticated fencing operations they'd seen.

In response to the threat of criminal charges hanging over them, Guy and Carrie Neighbors, the owners of Yellow House store, 1904 Mass., are planning an open house from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday with free food for the public. Their attorney will also be present to answer questions.

In response to the threat of criminal charges hanging over them, Guy and Carrie Neighbors, the owners of Yellow House store, 1904 Mass., are planning an open house from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday with free food for the public. Their attorney will also be present to answer questions.

As of Wednesday, no charges had been filed. Dist. Atty. Charles Branson has said the case involves "tens of thousands of dollars" of questionable sales, some of them made via the Internet.

The Neighborses - who maintain that they've done nothing wrong - have put up signs in their window warning customers that they don't buy stolen property. Another sign in the window, directed at police, says that store employees aren't authorized to talk to investigators and refers questions to attorney Swain.

The Neighborses said they wanted to thank friends and customers who continue to buy and sell at their store. One such friend is Mike Coffman, a professed "roadkill master chef," who plans to cook a stew made of elk and road-salvaged venison as a contribution to the event.

"They're not fencing anything," he said.

Barbecued chicken, roasted pork loin sandwiches, taco burgers and beans also will be on the menu.

The Neighborses said they threw a similar party after a legal ordeal in the mid-1990s in which Carrie Neighbors was convicted of selling illegal martial-arts throwing stars at the store. Shortly after her conviction, Neighbors complained that a similar item was cleared to be sold at the Douglas County Fair.

Sgt. Dan Ward, a Lawrence Police spokesman, said the current investigation of the store was put on hold temporarily after the shooting last month outside The Granada, 1020 Mass., but that officers are again actively following leads and writing reports.

As for the party, Ward said he had no problem with it as long as it wasn't breaking any laws.

"I hope they have a good time," he said.


hockmano 12 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if they found any weapons of mass destruction? Sounds like the LPD needed to get their facts straight before turning these people's lives upside down!

jranderson 12 years, 2 months ago

Isn't it common knowledge that most pawn shops buy stolen goods? Just wondering....

Sandra Willis 12 years, 2 months ago

Libel - An oral or written Defamatory Statement published without just cause against a person or company.

Hope that helps you understand, ReggieS.

Greg Yother 12 years, 2 months ago

Marion, I would just like to say that I sincerely apologize if anything I have posted in the past has offended you. I...I just don't know what I was thinking. Furthermore, I would like to think of us as friends:comrades....pals. Never ever the sort of people who would point large:caliber:handguns (ulp!) at each other. Are:are we cool? ;)

johnadavies 12 years, 2 months ago

No, I think you have to go to the convience store at 19th and Haskell for that stuff!

cowboy 12 years, 2 months ago

Maybe they could build a grandstand out front for the law enforcement agencies.....

90 days and still no charges

Ragingbear 12 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

neopolss 12 years, 2 months ago

If they truly were fencing, and it took what? Ten years to figure it out? We really do have some pretty stupid investigators.

lonesome_breeze 12 years, 2 months ago

Neopolss..Do you ever read what you have written. Those "stupid investigators" just cleared a homicide in two weeks that took them from Lawrence to topeka to denver and back, They made and arrest in the boardwalk fire in less then a week, and the suspect has just been bound over for trial. Yea those "stupid investigators" I had previously thought you were just the sarcastic type from your previous posts, but maybe you just not very bright.

fester0420 7 years, 9 months ago

they are stupid the only reason they were caught was because of snitches not police work

superduper 12 years, 2 months ago

"the largest fencing ring we've ever seen" omg :) Give me a break. Where are the charges. You shouldn't get the IRS, postal inspector and the police to raid a small business and private personal residence unless you already have substantial evidence. Where are the charges?

And.... can I BMORK? (Bring My Own Road Kill)

nonimbyks 12 years, 2 months ago

"The Neighborses said they wanted to thank friends..."

"On Dec. 2, Lawrence Police raided the store and the Neighborses'..."

Who edited this story? LJW, if you're listening...

Is their last name Neighbor, Neighborse?

funkdog1 7 years, 9 months ago

What's funny is that the first link you provided vindicates the editors of the LJW.

nonimbyks 12 years, 2 months ago

I forgot to add Neighbors to the list.

Fencing ring? Apparently the investigators have never been to Ebay shopping for stereos and car parts.

dozer 12 years, 2 months ago

Those that are critical of a 90 day investigation must watch a lot of CSI where they solve cases in 50 minutes (got to factor in commercials). I'd say its a safe bet they have other cases that also require their time.

fester0420 7 years, 9 months ago

its been about a yr now and still nothing

adky 12 years, 2 months ago

Can nobody guess the real reason why LPD harass this couple?

wonderhorse 12 years, 2 months ago

Because they think that a law has been broken?

cutny 12 years, 2 months ago

Hmmm....hard to know what to think. As disgusting as the barbecue sounds, I've bought used appliances from them before and gotten a good deal on them. Clearly the cops thought something was going on and are now backtracking. What? With all of the cops in this town, they all get pulled off the investigation for a murder that while, thankfully, solved had dozens of eye witnesses. Yeah, real hard one to crack, there. As for the Boardwalk fire lonesome_sneeze, if they couldn't crack that, they are clearly in the wrong line of work.

adky 12 years, 2 months ago

What a naive paradise you must live in.......

wonderhorse 12 years, 2 months ago


Please explain. I'm an ingnorant KS redneck.

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm critical of the 90-day delay, and I don't watch CSI at all.

Three months ago, police had enough information for a warrant and a raid. According to the Journal World story at the time, "Ward said the search warrants were the result of a two-month investigation into the possible purchase of stolen property and the sale of the items in Lawrence and on the Internet."

They confiscated items as evidence. Either those are stolen items, or they are not.

Stolen items have handy things like police reports and insurance descriptions, with serial numbers and identifying marks. How many items are they trying to track down provenance for? A hundred? Five hundred? A thousand?

Meanwhile, this business has the label of 'fence' hanging over it. How much business are they losing as a result? How many people who might have chosen to shop there are deterred by the investigation because they don't want to be involved with someone who might (but has not been convicted or even charged) be involved with stolen goods? If their doors close, will the investigation be forgotten because it's no longer a priority? If they go out of business and then the LPD decides that they weren't selling stolen goods after all, that will be too little too late.

They've had five months (including the two it took to get evidence for the warrants). I think that's long enough to find stolen goods if they were there, even with other high-profile cases going on. Even if they're having to get information from other police departments, and write up and file a report on each individual item (which I imagine they're doing), even if only one officer has been working on this full-time, I still question five months of information-gathering not resulting in charges of some sort on 'one of the largest fencing operations they've ever seen.'

ReggieS 12 years, 2 months ago

Carrie & Guy have been friends of mine for a long time. Far too long has the city of Lawrence sat back and allowed the L.P.D to harass these sweet people. Ask yourself..... why them. Why not the thousands of "dumpster divers", city counselors, or the L.P.D themselves. None of whom has a reciept nor can they account for everything in their home or possesion. What about garage sales. Are you supposed to get a reciept for what you buy and if so how many of you do. If not watch out you may be their next target.

JimmyJoeBob 12 years, 2 months ago

I sat back and asked myself that question Reg and the only answer I came up with is the are crooks. I think you being their friend has blinded your judgement. Judges don't sign search warrants at the drop of the hat. Ask yourself why the LPD hasn't gone after any other business for fencing. The answer might be because they don't have any evidence anyone else is doing it. If you have some conspiracy theory please spit it out. Or are you just making accusations you can't back up.

fester0420 7 years, 9 months ago

the LPD has gotten warrants for a search just by an informant saying it is true. a lot of times it is not

wonderhorse 12 years, 2 months ago

adky has some kind of theory, but is awfully quiet as to what it is.

Linda Endicott 12 years, 2 months ago

I don't know the people, and haven't shopped there in years.

But if they were so sure they were fencing stolen goods, then why didn't they shut them down?

ReggieS 12 years, 2 months ago

Answer me this Jimmy Joe Bob seeing as you are so quick to judge and label others as crooks. If so then why no charges. Law enforcement, postal inspectors, IRS, and a yearlong investigation and still nada. In doing all that the L.P.D has done nothing short of harassing the Neighbors. Which makes my accusation sound. No need to "back it up" the proof is in the pudding. If I was you (which thank god I'm not) I would not attempt to rise above my mediocre humdrum life and call someone a "crook" when in fact they are only "suspected of running a fencing ring". Those of us who are intelligent understand that that is called liable which is a crime if convicted. As far as my judgments being in question because they are my friends, I also have a friend who is a captain on the L.P.D, so I hardly believe that I am blinded. Another friend who works for the Kansas Court of Appeals can give you testimonial after testimonial of how judges sign warrants just to see if it bears fruit. That is called a fishing expedition. Well I believe I've taught you enough for today. Until our next session feel free to ask questions if there was something you didn't understand. Remember the only stupid question is the question not asked

JimmyJoeBob 12 years, 2 months ago

You have taught me nothing. All you have done is again made your libelous comments of the LKPD. And since you threw the first punch I will throw one back. I doubt you know the meaning of libel since you spelled it liable. For your information If you have been convicted of a crime as Carrie has, I believe that is enough evidence to call her a crook. Just let me know when you want another, lesson spelling or other wise

fester0420 7 years, 9 months ago

oh yah for selling throwing stars that are not even illegal

nb4d 12 years, 2 months ago

I think time will let everyone know the truth. I don't think any of us know the whole story right now.

mutpuppy 12 years, 2 months ago

Thought I would let you know JimmyJoeBob that the warrent was issued by the judge who has only been on the bench 3 months. He was pressured into issuing it because he's the new guy and the young guy that everyone in the PD is pushing around until he hearns his stripes I guess. No other honorable judge would have issued the warrent with the small bit of "evidence" the PD had.

Besides... You live in a very sheltered world if you think everyone the LPD decides to investigate is a crook. I can assure you plenty of them are crooked. They have been offering $$$$50 to yellowhouse customers to go in and sell them stolen goods. Which by the way, even if they bought something that was stolen, fencing has to be proven that the buyer KNEW that it was stolen. If they have to offer people money to get them to commit an illegal act, you know their investigation is not turning up much. Guess thier big fencing operation was just another excuse to try and harass the yellowhouse people...

Obviously they know they aren't guilty and that's all that matters in the end... no evidence, no proof, no charges, no case!

del888 12 years, 2 months ago

Orscheln Farm Supply - now there's a fencing operation. I've seen it in person. Chain link, barbed wire, woven wire, they have it all. If the LPD want to find some fence, they should look there. Yellow House doesn't sell fence.

cowboy 12 years, 2 months ago

I watch this one with interest for a couple of reasons. The LPD releases no information usually , nada , no comment , you have to go to the topeka paper to get crime info in Lawrence , why the grandstand show on this case ?

90 days is a sufficient period to bring your charges , you don't have to have the whole case. Why were they issued a warrant to begin with . where is the clear probable cause.

I find this pretty wreckless to publicly charge a couple then not prosecute it quickly and fairly.

The bottom line in my mind is this , if you are buying outright items , what is your responsibility to try to verify the legality anyway. Unless your are commissioning the theft , or knowingly purchasing stolen goods whats the case.

fester0420 7 years, 9 months ago

the LPD is always like that they are like scared little kids. they came to our neighbors house and 2 people were fighting and the cop pulls out his gun. there are no weapons around and his hands sere shaking. i thought he would shoot someone he was so scared . we need some cops with backbones and a lil brain

sunshiner 12 years, 2 months ago

I find it unfortunate that there is so much disagreement among the peaceful and honest residents of Lawrence. I wish there was a little more unity on the side of the Neighbors. As the constitution clearly states, we are all innocent until proven guilty. In this case, they haven't even been charged with anything. Just from the stories that the LJW has printed, something about this investigation really stinks. Nobody is saying it, but might it just be a nasty good-ole boy mentality that is common in police departments across the country? I sure hope not, but everything so far is making me believe it. If they committed a crime, they should be charged. If they are innocent as I believe they are, then a public apology should be issued immediately.

dthroat 12 years, 2 months ago

OK, I guess it is time to stir the pot a little. Has anyone on here considered the possibility that whatever charges to be brought will not be local charges?? And it takes a little time to get an grand jury to convene and bring charges.

Just thought I would add this to the conversation as food for thought to make the people who think the lack of charges so far equals no case.

Something to think about.

doctorJ 12 years, 2 months ago

its just amazing to me that the Yellow House is the only business in this town that has ever been accused of buying something stolen! WOW what a wonderful town we live in, 3 pawn shops, numerous second hand clothing stores, second hand car dealers, A bargain center on Haskell, An Ebay reseller on Ponderosa, several antique shops, and furniture stores, and the Yellow house is the only business that ever bought a stolen Item! And certainly the only business that makes the news because of it!

what horrible people they must be! Forget the fact that Carrie taught sunday school at Free Methodist Church all last year, they Did Special needs foster Care for 8 years, They have been actively involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for 7 years, They have been involved in their local schools fund raising programs, Helped the homeless and countless others down on their luck, and also actively supported our local Humane society with generous donations and adoption.

I think we need a few more criminals like this, They are my freinds and I know I could use a few more like this!

notajayhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

You forgot to mention items that are 'returned' to almost every other store.

SLOPOKE 7 years, 9 months ago

Guy & Carrie Are 2 of the nicest hardworking people in the Lawrence small bussiness world. I'm not close, like family or closest friend's. They probably know me by sight only. I would LOVE TO share a few stories with our Lawrence citizen's about the (rotten to the core Political asasination) that is very present in our Great City. But this is about a very hard working couple that have to walk a very thin line in the kind of business the're in.All it would take is one as_ h___to start somthing, water it a few times and Bamb you have a conspiresy that grow's out of control..Maybe put this family thru hell, for a Big feather in there _ _ _ Lawrence need's Guy & Carrie and alot more like em:) :) Keep on Keepin on.................

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 8 months ago


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