Archive for Thursday, May 28, 2009

Police break up long-standing car-theft ring

May 28, 2009

Baldwin City police got a break and captured four Baldwin City teenagers who had been stealing from unlocked vehicles for months. The break was a victim who saw one of the boys Saturday night – and identified him easily because of his hair.

“One of the boys had been identified by one of the victims,” said Police Chief Mike McKenna. “He had a very distinctive hairdo.”

That hairdo eventually led to four teens, ages 14, 15, 16 and 16, being caught and interviewed in a series of burglaries that totaled thousands of dollars during its run since March. The police are reviewing the numerous cases to determine what charges to seek from the county attorney. The teens were released to their parents.

After the one teen was identified, he was brought in for an interview and the other three teens eventually were, too. That situation also had a twist.

“When the officers went to one of the homes to interview a suspect, he was receiving a text message,” said McKenna. “The officer asked if he could view the text. It was from the first teen saying the cops are looking for us, so don’t tell them anything.”

Through additional interviews, it was learned where some of stolen items were located. A total of $3,095 worth of items were recovered, mostly GPS systems and other items laying around in cars.

McKenna said the case represented hard work.

“It’s like putting pieces of a puzzle together,” he said. “We had many meetings. We finally got the break Saturday night we were needing. It was good police work by the three officers involved.”

It involved an old teenager trick, too.

“It’s the story of all time,” he said. “I’m staying overnight at your house and you’re staying overnight at mine and away we go.”


Gopher 7 years, 10 months ago

I was one of the Saturday night/Sunday morning victims. BCPD Officer Chad Rines did an outstanding job in helpng solve this on-going problem. He was extremely professional, communicated well with us and when the delinquents were apprehended came back to our house to personally inform us. That is the kind of service we need in Baldwin. Good job Officer Rines!


Bloggerboo 7 years, 10 months ago

Well, I say congrats to the BCPD as well. However, at the same time, it seems they were getting absolutely no where on this case U N T I L a victim saw and identified one of the perps. That person is the true hero in my opinion.

Mr. Police Chief can sit there and praise all the excellent police work he wants, but why didn't he give some credit to the person who really solved the crime? Or did he and it just didn't make it into the article? So hard to tell.


justamom 7 years, 10 months ago

I was also one of the victims on the night on May 18th in Firetree.I am so grateful to the person who identified the the punks. I could not figure out what these kids were doing walking around that late at night on a school night to begin with. They stole 2 cameras and other items out of my car and the only thing that matters to me is the camera. I am hoping that the officers find them and return them to me they are full of memories of my kids.


cranky 7 years, 10 months ago

I hope these little jerks are the same ones who have been vandalizing playgrounds all over town. It's about time they were caught and held responsible for their actions.

Released to the custody of their parents probably did a lot of good. Apparently their parents are either clueless or could care less.


strateup 7 years, 10 months ago

Oh to have lived such a perfect life that you all can cast stones. I happen to know a few of the boys involved in this incident and would like everyone to know that this was a one time, one night event that they are deeply, deeply both sorry and ashamed of the poor decisions that they made. McKenna hyped up the headline to further inflate his Big Chief Complex. There was no "long-standing car-theft ring" broken up that night. It was simply a group of boys that made a bunch of poor decisions, one night, that they will pay dearly for. All the items taken that night were returned to the owners. If there is a "long-standing car-theft ring" then Baldwin City residents beware that ring is still out there. Believe me these boys are very sorry for their actions and I can assure you that they will never make this kind of mistake again.


cranky 7 years, 9 months ago

This same group of boys stole my son's bike last summer. One time event? Please.

Who are you trying to kid? Yourself, maybe. Me? No way.


Bloggerboo 7 years, 9 months ago

cranky and strateup...either of you got proof of your opposing sides? Without it, your points are meaningless. No one can believe you despite your sincerity because it is likely neither of you know the full truth.

However, the names I've heard bandied about, albeit rumors for sure, don't lend any credence to your story strateup. Most of the rumored ones are already known for their behavior.

Regardless, one-time incident or not, when people make stupid mistakes, like stealing $3000 worth of stuff from other folks, they should pay dearly. It may be the only way to prevent them from making another stupid mistake later.


cranky 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes, I have proof. I chased them down and recovered the bike from their grimy little hands in front of the swimming pool. Pretty funny to see a bunch of thugs running scared from a soccer mom. I filed a report.

So, your Honor, does that qualify my point as meaningful? : )


justamom 7 years, 9 months ago

Strateup I seriously doubt that these kids stole over $3,000 worth of stuff in one innocent night. I don't even pretend that my kids are perfect but I definitley know where they are at all times and they are darn sure not wandering around town late at night. For you to pretend like these kids are innocent makes it apparent that they didn't steal anything out of your cars. It is a terrible feeling to get in your car and realize that some one has rummaged through your entire car. Oh not just one but all 3 of them. On top of that to know that they were walking around with a camera that has pictures full of your family.This is not just about some little punks stealing stuff out of cars, it makes the victims feel completly violated as well as make their children worried about the town we live in. So no I don't live the perfect life and don't normally throw stones but in this case these kids are telling you and their parents that they feel terrible but if they did then this would not be an ongoing problem with these kids.


strateup 7 years, 9 months ago

I have given this whole situation much thought and here is my response. First I want to once again repeat that the boys involved in this are some good kids that made a one time mistake. They are not connected in any way to some long standing car-theft ring. They have never been convicted of any crimes and they all are truly very remorseful for the bad decisions they made that night. Now to address some of the previous postings. The break-ins occured in one small area of town, nowhere even close to Firetree. So justamom dont put your fears to rest just yet as the "little punks" that stole your camera are still out there. Cranky if these were the same boys that you filed a report against them then wouldn't they of had some kind of previous charges against them? I once again want to repeat that everything stolen that night was returned to the police. If you werent notified by the BPD then your missing items are not related to this case. These boys are guilty of one night of bad decisions. Unfortunatley for them it makes them the target of every unsolved theft in Baldwin. McKenna used the headline to inflate his already overinflated ego. There has been no connection to these boys and any other break-ins. Believe me they will pay for their poor decisions and so will their parents, who already are paying. The simple fact is that kids make mistakes ,sometimes bigger than others.


SaturdaysChild 7 years, 9 months ago

Dear strateup you are almost as bad as the kids that stole from us. If these wonderful, honest, remorseful kids are really all that then why am I going to lose everything they stole from me? I spoke with Officer Rine and was told that they dumped all the money together and basically I am out of luck for recovering the money the took from my car. If they are as good as you claim they are then they should be able to tell you that they took at least $14.00 (2 fives and 4 ones) out of my ashtray, a tin that had over $30.00 worth of quarters, 7 small plastic containers that contained approximately $22.15 out ot the glove box and a Plantronics Voyager 510 bluetooth headset that cost over $100 out of the center console. I was told they did not recover a bluetooth. We actually found some items on the street and gave them to the police. So even if everything was returned how do you distribute money that was dumped all together? And last I knew one of my neighbors got back most of his stuff but not everything. How do you know everything was returned - was someone keeping inventory?


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