Sheriff believes truck, ATV thefts in Laclede County connected to ring of thefts

By: 
Steve Smith ssmith@laclederecord.com

The Laclede County Sheriff’s Office is seeking charges on three Lebanon men involved in the theft of three four-wheelers and a pickup truck in Laclede County.  

The pickup was stolen from the 11000 block of West Highway 32 in Laclede County on Aug. 22  and was recovered by the Webster County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 23. The four-wheelers were reported taken from the 21000 block of Atlantic on Aug. 24. Laclede County deputies recovered a stolen pickup truck, and trailer from Webster County on the same date on the campus of Ozarks Technical Community College. 

Authorities believe the trio was involved in the theft of the vehicle in Webster County. On Aug. 25, two of the three four-wheelers were recovered in Dallas County, along with a motorcycle stolen from LSK in Lebanon.

“We believe this trio, and other associates, have been involved in a number of vehicle thefts in Laclede, Dallas, Webster, Camden, Wright and Pulaski counties,” said Sheriff David Millsap in a press release. 

The Sheriff said he believes charges in other counties will be filed. 

“The recovery of the truck in Webster County, and our recovery of the Webster County vehicle in our county, was the catalyst which led to the recovery of two four-wheelers stolen in Laclede County, the motorcycle from Lebanon, and a pickup truck stolen from Wright County last spring,” Millsap said. 

A Laclede County detective was able to track the stolen vehicles to a chop shop located in Dallas County off of State Highway JJ.  the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office and the Laclede County Sheriff’s Office partnered to serve a search warrant Aug. 25 at that location and recovered the four-wheelers and the motorcycle from Lebanon. 

Laclede County Sheriff Detectives on Aug. 24 recovered a flatbed pickup, Bobcat tractor and trailer stolen out of Pulaski County. Those items were recovered in 25000 block of Camellia. Investigators believe the trio, and associates, were involved in that theft as well. The pickup, Bobcat and trailer were stolen from Pulaski County Road and Bridge. 

One of the suspects was arrested by the Missouri Highway Patrol Aug. 26 on charges unrelated to the thefts, that arrest led the revocation of the suspect’s parole. He is currently being held in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The Sheriff’s Office is waiting for warrants to be issued for the other two suspects, as well as the suspect being held by DOC. 

The Sheriff’s Department has sent statements of probable cause to the prosecutor seeking charges in the thefts.

The Laclede County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lebanon Police Department, hosted an intelligence sharing meeting Aug. 28 with area agencies to discuss the thefts. 

“This group has hit several counties and cities, and the meeting allowed us to share information regarding similar types of crimes occurring in several jurisdictions,” Millsap said. 

The Laclede County Sheriff’s Office partnered with a Rural Crimes Investigator with the Missouri Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control and the Missouri Highway Patrol Aircraft Division Aug. 31 to fly portions of Laclede County to locate other stolen vehicles, believed to have been dumped by the thieves in rural areas of the county. 

On Sept. 1, the Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a pickup truck abandoned at Main and Ginger Road in a tree line. The pickup was stolen from a Buffalo used car lot. The truck had been reported stolen the previous week. 

Millsap said the County, and the City of Lebanon, have experienced a rash of stolen vehicles over the past several months. 

“This group was involved in a number of thefts, but was not responsible for all the stolen vehicles in Laclede County. Nearly all the stolen vehicles reported stolen in the county, the keys have been left either in the ignition or in the vehicle. I can’t stress enough that you need to lock your vehicle,” Millsap said.

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The Laclede County Record

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