Johnson County Sheriff’s Office deputies are pursuing a number of leads related to a rash of thefts that occurred in late December and January but have so far not identified any suspects.
With the exception of two thefts that occurred in Kaycee, officers believe that all the crimes were likely committed by the same people, because they took place within a short period in the same area, according to Sheriff Rod Odenbach.
During a home burglary in Kaycee on Jan. 2, a surveillance camera recorded images and footage of two suspects, a vehicle and a dog. The suspects stole packaged items that law enforcement believe were new heaters.
Odenbach sent the photos and videos to nearby sheriff’s offices and posted them on the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page. The statement on the Facebook page describes one suspect as thin and the other as “girthier.” In the photos, both individuals appear to be wearing coveralls. The vehicle appears to be a dark-colored Ford diesel pickup with a fuel tank in the back. Odenbach said the suspects appeared to be male and accompanied by a heeler-type dog.
On Jan. 3, the suspects stole Milwaukee power tools, a drill bit set and a socket set from a vehicle on Hill Street in Linch. On Jan. 4, the suspects stole a Stihl gasoline-powered drill, a Harbor Freight generator, two Milwaukee cordless drills and a one-ton chain hoist from two pickup trucks at Uranium Mine One Mine Road in Linch. One of the trucks had evidence of forced entry, and the other had a driver’s-side door that was unsecured.
“Lock up your doors and report any suspicious activity,” said Odenbach. “We have deputies out there who will respond.”
Odenbach said that the goods stolen are all easily pawned or sold online.
“Nobody marks or writes down the serial numbers on a cordless drill or other tools,” said Odenbach, “so they are really hard to track.”
Also, sometime before Jan. 15, a saddle, bridles, bits, reins and halters were stolen from a horse trailer on Old Highway 87 in Kaycee, and on Dec. 26, a Smith & Wesson M&P 380 semi-auto pistol was stolen from an unlocked vehicle parked overnight at the Powder River Pub on South Nolan Avenue in Kaycee. Law enforcement are less certain that these thefts were committed by the same suspects.
Odenbach is asking anyone with information about the thefts to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 684-5581.