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Elaborate break-in at Ampride occurs

Staff writer

An unidentified man and woman backed up a stolen Mercedes-Benz into the door of Ampride in Marion at about 4:20 a.m. Sunday night, Marion Police reported.

They then stole the cash box off the counter, $5,000 worth of lottery tickets, and a few packs of cigarettes before departing. With damage from the break-in, the total value of the property affected by the crime was $8,100, Police Chief Tyler Mermis said.

Two suspects from Wichita were apprehended Sunday in the Wichita. They were accused of stealing the car and other items after breaking into a residence in Wichita only days earlier.

Police Officer Bryce Suffield received the call from the Ampride clerk who saw the wreckage when she opened the store at 5 a.m. He was booking a juvenile suspect from another crime at Marion County Jail.

It had been a busy night for Suffield. He recorded six arrests, including one battery case and multiple juvenile arrests. In one instance, he caught a juvenile from McPherson who had allegedly broken into a car on Elm Street, Mermis said. He ran after the suspect on foot as the assailant traveled east before tackling him in the 100 block of North Lincoln Street.

“Bryce is pretty fast,” Mermis said.

Mermis said more crimes are being committed by non-Marion County residents in the city limits. After hiring Mike Stone as a full-time officer, who worked his first day on July 27, the Marion Police Department has five officers on staff.

“A lot of these people from bigger towns come to Marion because they don’t think there will be as much of a police presence. They think they’ll get away with it,” Mermis said. “With our department, that doesn’t happen.”

Mermis also reported that there have been more crimes committed in Marion over the past month. Battery cases have increased as residents grow frustrated with the hot weather. Break-ins have also been up.

Mermis said the investigation of the break-in at TC’s What Not Shop on July 18 has stalled after interviewing all the suspects in the case. Marion Police are now waiting for Kansas Bureau of Investigation to polygraph suspects, even though a polygraph result is inadmissible in court.

Last modified Aug. 8, 2012

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