Police continuing theft investigation
Several area businesses targeted
Tonganoxie police hope fingerprints taken from a local store will help determine who broke into a downtown business Oct. 12.
Police Lt. Billy Adcox said he planned to send prints to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation next week. He discovered the fingerprints at Pelzl's Hardware Store, 423 E. Fourth. Someone broke into the business about 4 a.m. and took four weed-trimmers totaling $800 in value.
About an hour later, JR's Liquor, 107 E. Third, also was hit, as cash register money and whiskey were taken. Adcox still is awaiting word on how much was taken from the business.
Adcox said last week it was possible the two incidents were related.
But the department has found no new evidence since then, he said Monday.
Lawrence police have reported a recent string of break-ins, as at least six liquor stores have been hit since late August.
Many of the break-ins occurred between 4 a.m. and 5:30 a.m., about the same timeframe in which the Tonganoxie liquor store was hit.
The latest Lawrence burglary occurred last Friday, according to published reports.
Adcox said was uncertain whether the Tonganoxie break-in could be linked to the Lawrence thefts.
"I can't speculate on that right now," Adcox said. "I'd have to look at their cases to see what's been done."
Another theft was reported the same morning as the Tonganoxie break-ins west of Tonganoxie. Kelly Angell, owner of Angell's Excavating on Kansas Highway 16 between Tonganoxie and McLouth, reported that his Harley Davidson motorcycle had been stolen from Angell's Liquor, which is just west of the excavating business.
Angell was storing the bike at the store and had planned to move it to his home, but found that someone broke into a side garage door and took the bike. It appeared that someone rammed a truck into the door, Angell said.
He found business cards on the store's floor from a Grandview, Mo., man. Angell called the man who told Angell his truck had been stolen.
That truck had a push bumper on its front grill. Angell said that the door appeared to be busted through by a vehicle with a push bar. The bike was valued at $17,000.
Although those incidents occurred Oct. 12, another Tonganoxie business suffered damage to a front window.
During the night of Oct. 9, a window at Vintage Soap and Bath, 626 E. Fourth, was broken.
Lana Howe, who owns the store, said nothing was taken from the business.
However, she discovered blood where the glass had been broken, and traces of blood on a side of the building and behind it.
Adcox said someone likely fell into the glass or was shoved into it and were cut in the process.
"The only thing we know is someone broke it out," Adcox said. "We don't know who."
Howe said it cost more than $300 to replace the window.