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Car thieves strike on consecutive days

One truck stolen twice from same lot

Staff writer

Fresh on the heels of a car theft from a Tabor College parking lot, three more vehicles were stolen this past week in Hillsboro.

Irwin Sander, of Hutchinson, reported his 1998 Honda Civic had been stolen out of the Dollar General parking lot between 3 p.m. and 3:58 p.m. May 16.

Police chief Dan Kinning said Tuesday that the car was recovered Friday, and is believed to have been stolen by the same individual who abandoned a car north of Hillsboro earlier that day. The abandoned car had been missing out of Wichita for about four months.

Kinning said there is video evidence of the alleged car thief pulling out of the parking lot shortly after Sanders walked into the store.

Hillsboro resident Philip Oelke reported the theft of his 2011 Toyota Tundra along with a Jennings .22 pistol and tools from a lot in the 600 block of Main St. at 1:04 a.m. Thursday.

Kinning said the pickup was recovered later that evening in a Tabor College parking lot.

“It wasn’t necessary connected to Tabor,” he said.

However, that wasn’t the end of Oelke’s stolen truck saga. The same pickup was stolen again Monday and recovered the next day. Police believe the truck to have been stolen both times by the same person who kept the keys from the previous theft.

“He has since taken care of the truck so the keys won’t work anymore,” said Kinning.

Conan Mader, another Hillsboro resident, wasn’t as lucky. He reported his 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup stolen from the street at his residence in the 500 block of S. Main St. between 11:30 a.m. Thursday and 6:30 a.m. Friday. Mader’s truck has yet to be recovered, and according to Kinning there are no leads at this time.

However, while the past week has been a storyline of one stolen vehicle after another, there is hope for Mader after an unrelated unique discovery.

“We recovered another stolen truck Monday that had been missing from Hillsboro for three years,” Kinning said. “It was found in Wichita in a vacant lot and returned to its owner.”

Kinning said the slew of vehicle thefts is a coincidence.

“It’s kind of an odd thing to have it all at the same time,” he said. “But they’re not all related.”

Last modified May 23, 2018

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