Danedri Thompson
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They have the truck, but they’re still searching for the thief.
Gardner Police officers recovered a semi-tractor that had been stolen from the Edgerton intermodal last week. The truck, a 2006 Freightliner, has been returned to its owner. However, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office detectives are still seeking the individual that stole truck, owned by Beckman trucking, on Aug. 24.
According to Brett Wilson, a detective with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the truck was easily stolen, though he wouldn’t say how the thief was able to abscond a vehicle from intermodal on Aug. 24.
“There was nobody working that morning, and there was no one around when the truck was stolen,” Wilson said.
BNSF has a security company that continually observes the intermodal. Wilson said to date, there have been few problems reported at the intermodal or at the businesses around it.
“The intermodal’s own security does a pretty good job of patrolling the area, plus our patrol cars frequent the area,” Wilson explained.
Still, a thief was able to leave the property in a stolen truck a few weekends ago. When the tractor truck went missing, investigators feared that a trailer from somewhere might end up missing as well.
“But we don’t have any evidence that one did,” Wilson said.
What they do know is this: Shortly after the truck went missing, the thief stopped at the Shell Station near 191st Street and Interstate 35 to purchase gas. Shell Station staff allowed police to check out the surveillance video, but it wasn’t enough to identify the truck’s driver.
A week after the truck was stolen, an intermodal security guard saw the vehicle parked in the Gardner Walmart parking lot and called the police.
There are four Beckman-owned trucks, including the one stolen, that are parked at the intermodal.
“Those trucks never leave the intermodal, so if you see one of those outside the intermodal, there’s something going on,” Wilson said.
The detective isn’t certain how long the truck was parked at Walmart before it was discovered.
“I don’t think this was a joy ride,” Wilson said. “Nobody steals a semi for a joy ride. Usually they have a specific purpose for the truck. They may have thought they had someone they could sell it to or they had a trailer they needed to move.”
Wilson credits media reports of the truck being stolen for its recovery.
“It’s possible that whoever took it had an intention for it, but then got scared because of publicity and just dumped the truck at Walmart,” Wilson said.
Detectives are still seeking information about the theft.