The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is hot on the trail, investigating a rash cases involving vehicles stolen on Wednesday morning.
Sheriff Nels Sorensen explained that they received a report early Wednesday morning that vehicles were missing. Deputies spent several hours on Wednesday searching throughout Jefferson County for the missing vehicles. They were able to locate two vehicles, but one is still missing.
“We had a report of a vehicle that had just been stolen north of town. In the process of looking for that vehicle, we found another wrecked vehicle, which rolled on its top and was totaled out—that vehicle was a car. Our deputies got a glimpse of the stolen pickup that was reported. It went through some fences and through some fields. Yesterday morning, we located it north of the fairgrounds back into a grove of trees. It was very hard to see. We got that one recovered and we recovered the one that had been wrecked that morning,” said Sorensen.
The Sheriff’s Office is still on the lookout for a gray 2004 Dodge pickup with a crew cab. Sorensen encourages people to contact the Sheriff’s Office if they have any information about the vehicle, or if they see any suspicious activity.
“We’ll locate it at some point in time,” Sorensen said. “If anybody happens to see an abandoned vehicle out or it looks like someone ran off the road, give us a call and we’ll check on it.”
In addition to the stolen vehicles, a UTV was also reported as taken from the same area where the other vehicles were taken. Sorensen stated that they discovered the UTV on the side of the road still running.
“These things happened pretty close around midnight. I would tell people to lock their vehicles, lock their garages, lock their house. We have no idea what these people are capable of, so don’t try to confront them if you see them. Just give us a call and we’ll get someone out there right away. We don’t want a bad situation to get any worse. The people that are doing this don’t have any regard for this property—that leads me to believe that if they don’t have any regard for your property, what regard are they going to have for you? Just be very cautious,” said Sorensen.
Sorensen believes that there are at least two people who took the vehicles, but that they are still working to develop a list of suspects. He noted that Thayer County has recently had similar issues, but right now there is not enough evidence to connect the cases. Sorensen stated that the surrounding counties are on the lookout for the vehicle as well.
“We believe that all three of our stolen vehicles and the attempted theft of the UTV were all the same people,” Sorensen said. “When we checked around, we don’t believe Gage County or Saline County had anything quite like this. We pretty much were able to track their activity because they would go and spin circles in the county road intersections. It’s basically a joy ride and tearing up stuff.”
He encourages people to stay vigilant, noting that times are changing, even in Jefferson County. He reiterated that people need to keep their doors locked and to report any suspicious activities.
“We’ve not experienced this for a while, so it’s back upon us again,” said Sorensen. “We’d like to curtail it as quick as we can. Sometimes it gets pretty frustrating. Make sure you secure your property. We still live in a really good neck of the woods, but the big city has come. We’re not rural America anymore. We have crime sprees just like the big cities do.”