Archive for Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Baldwin police thwart theft at Heritage Tractor

April 11, 2001

A routine patrol by two Baldwin City Police Department officers resulted in a foiled theft attempt at Heritage Tractor, U.S. Highway 56, Thursday night.

Five Kansas City, Mo., residents were arrested as a result of the police work turned in by officers Charles Woolsoncroft and Charles Hensley, with officer Eric Garcia providing fast back up and Cpl. Bill Dempsey helping out, too.

Sgt. Colleen Larson explained that Woolsoncroft and Hensley were making a routine property check at Heritage Tractor around midnight when they spotted a woman sitting in a car at the front of the building with the motor running. They questioned her and then decided to check around.

"It was just a gut feeling," said Larson. "He walked around the building where the lawnmowers and ATVs are and noticed two men at the ATVs. Another one then dropped down and another one walked around from the pallets. They (the officers) then called for back up."

Arrested were four men and the woman, who were booked into Douglas County Jail on suspicion of criminal trespass, attempted burglary and attempted theft. One of the men was armed with a knife. No names were released. They were released the next day and formal charges have not been filed, she said.

But, it was heads-up work by the officers that prevented another theft from the John Deere dealership.

"It's nice when it falls that way you catch them in the act," said Larson. "We were fortunate to have officers on duty at the time. We were proud of the guys. They did a good job."

Ken Wagner, co-owner of Heritage, was also pleased.

"I congratulated the police officers," said Wagner. "I thought they handled it well. I think we're lucky to have police patrols like this. It's important that people know that this goes on here.

"We had a potentially dangerous situation here and they handled it very well," he said. "I thought our police officers conducted themselves very well. I personally thanked each one of them."

Wagner said there have been 13 people arrested as a result of thefts at the dealership. He can't recall how many different attempts that has been.

"I've lost count of the number of incidents out here in the last two-and-a-half years," he said.

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