Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2004

Two plead to charges from attempted theft at Heritage

June 24, 2004

Two men have pled guilty to charges stemming from an attempted theft at local tractor dealership earlier this year.

According to the Douglas County District Attorney's office, Robert Soban, 30, recently pled guilty to criminal damage to property and criminal trespass, and Stacy E. Manos, 30, pled guilty to attempted theft for their roles in the Jan. 9 attempted theft incident at Heritage Tractor.


Soban will pay restitution. Manos will face sentencing in July.

The other three suspects in the case, Daniel W. Crowder, 58, John L. Crowder, 52, and John H. Stone, 33, have yet to appear in court, according to the district attorney's office. All three are charged with one count of attempted felony theft and one count of misdemeanor criminal damage to property.

The five men were arrested after citizens notified Baldwin police about suspicious activity they observed at Heritage Tractor.

After interrupting the theft of garden tractors from the John Deere dealership east of Baldwin on U.S. Highway 56 police chased five suspects, capturing two immediately. A manhunt involving several area law enforcement agencies began for the remaining three suspects.

Two of the men were captured in the Black Jack Battlefield area later that evening. The fifth was arrested when he tried to claim his truck at the Baldwin City Police Department a few days later.

Police Chief Mike McKenna said the five men have extensive criminal records and could be linked to other similar crimes in Missouri and Kansas.

McKenna said the outcome of the attempted theft at Heritage has been successful so far because of a combination of citizen involvement, good police work and a good security monitoring system.

"Being able to couple together the observation of citizens, the arrests by officers and the observation of the camera equipment at Heritage Tractor, it was a difficult case to be contested," he said.

"In all my years of law enforcement, that was one of the best cases I've seen as an example of agencies and citizens working together," he said.

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