Law enforcement found more than $100,000 in stolen property Friday afternoon in northeast Pettis County.
According to a news release, Pettis County Sheriff’s Office deputies, the Missouri State Highway Patrol Rural Crimes Unit, Missouri State Park Rangers and investigators with the National Insurance Crime Bureau served a search warrant for stolen vehicles, trailers, tractors, lawn mowers and other lawn equipment on Alexander Road.
Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond told the Democrat the stolen items were found scattered around a property on Alexander Road near a residence.
The release states one person is in custody, with additional arrests anticipated as the investigation continues. The person in custody’s name was not available at press time.
Bond said the suspect was arrested Friday for unrelated offenses, and Detective Mark Morgan, who led the investigation, already had information about the thefts. Morgan interviewed the suspect and obtained more information to solidify the information the sheriff’s office was already piecing together, leading to serving the search warrant around 2:30 p.m.
Investigators remained on scene Friday evening as they seized more than $100,000 in stolen property from Pettis County and surrounding communities, including the City of Sedalia.
“Everything we’ve identified so far is either missing from Pettis County or Sedalia, but there are other items we believe are stolen maybe from other area communities as well,” Bond said.
Bond said the thefts occurred over a period of the last several months, with the last theft being reported July 9. An item recovered was reported stolen in Sedalia several months ago, Bond added. His office will be following up in the coming days with the victims and their insurance companies.
“Most of the information we have compiled but the Rural Crimes Unit had some information as well and so when that information started to come together, we started conducting a joint investigation,” Bond said.
Bond said the Park Rangers were involved because one of the thefts occurred at Bothwell Lodge State Park. He also explained that NICB is an organization funded by various insurance companies across the country that has information about motor vehicles and anything that has either a VIN or serial number.
“They are very helpful when dealing with investigations about motor vehicles and other serialized vehicles, especially farm implements. We asked them to assist us as well,” Bond said. “They were able to assist us in identifying some vehicles found today (Friday) that the serial numbers were removed.”
By Nicole Cooke | Sedalia Democrat