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Brazen thefts may be related

Staff writer

Police suspect broad-daylight thefts of a catalytic converter in Hillsboro and a cash register in Peabody might be related to a man who fled from rural Halstead after being caught committing a burglary.

A Pizza Hut employee in Hillsboro reported a catalytic converter had been stolen from his 2003 Toyota Tacoma while he was working Saturday.

Blake Kaiser’s pickup was parked in the southeast corner of the restaurant parking lot, police chief Jessey Hiebert said. At 3:30 p.m., when Kaiser left work, he discovered that a $2,000 catalytic converter had been removed.

“This is quite a deal, in the middle of the day in a restaurant parking lot,” Hiebert said.

Three and a half hours earlier, a Peabody resident reported to the sheriff’s office that a cash register had been stolen from a large metal shop, storage building, and fireworks stand on 9th St.

Undersheriff Larry Starkey said he didn’t know whether the burglar at Peabody had been seen by anyone, but similarity of the incidents to a Saturday burglary outside Halstead led investigators to suspect they were related.

Security video at a Halstead residence captured a small red pickup quickly driving toward the road.

Rural Halstead resident Terrill Unruh, who posted an image of a red Toyota Tundra on social media, also posted that the driver of the Toyota was surprised by a neighbor and took off. The incident happened at 5 p.m. Saturday, Unruh said.

Last modified March 1, 2023

 

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