Det. Brett Wilson
Jo Co Sheriff’s Department
Suspects are in custody regarding a string of thefts from March, 2018.
Farmers and rural residents in Southwest Johnson Co., Northwest Miami Co., Northeast Franklin Co., and Southeast Douglass Counties, had reported thefts and burglaries to old abandoned homes and farmsteads.
With the help of numerous law enforcement agencies working together to include the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Gardner P.D., Spring Hill P.D., Lenexa P.D., Miami County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Wellsville P.D. and Bonner Springs P.D., two suspects are in custody or equipped with court ordered ankle attached GPS units to monitor their every move during their court process.
“We have recovered some property but not all and are still looking for that missing property,” according to Bret Wilson, Johnson County Sheriff’s TRACE unit. “We continue to build stronger cases against these individuals and foresee jail time for them, but that is up to the courts.  Since the arrest of these two suspects, who were working separately from each other. Our thefts in the southwest area of the county have practically stopped.”
Unfortunately, property crimes cases are hard to prove, take a lot of manpower and time to build a good case and the courts usually order probation in these cases unless the suspect is a repeat offender, Wilson continued. Believe me, this is very frustrating to law enforcement as well as the victims.  “This is why we strive to build as solid a case as possible and it takes a considerable amount of time.   Some cases are never made, even if we know who the suspect is.  This is due to a lack of evidence that we can take to court. “
Law enforcement is dedicated to protecting your property and the right to live a good life without fear, Wilson said.  Please help law enforcement, prosecutors and judges by being vigilant in taking steps to protect yourself and your property.
A few of those steps are listed below
1.   Keep a close watch on rural property that is unoccupied.  Visit abandoned farmsteads on a regular basis and take every effort to make them look busy, like you work there.
2.   Document your property, i.e., write down serial numbers, photograph your property.  Keep a running list in your shop and each time you use a different tool, mark serial number down.
3.   Crooks hate well lighted areas.  Install lighting, what little a few watts cost you is well worth the cost.
4.   Camera systems, install game camera’s or surveillance systems.  The costs on these have dropped over the years and they are affordable.  Keep these camera’s updated and clean (lens).  Change the recording storage often.
5.   Call in to, your local law enforcement agency, any suspicious activity and every theft that may occur, no matter how small.
6.   Remain a member of TRACE, tell your neighbors about this program and share any suspicious activity with us and your neighbors.