Archive for Thursday, May 5, 2005

Police: Backpack holds key to other car burglaries

May 5, 2005, 5:21 p.m.

Updated: May 10, 2005, 9:27 a.m.

Though the arrest of a Lansing man last week helped solve several recent car burglaries, Lansing Police still are asking for the public's help in identifying the owner of a backpack that could help authorities solve several other car burglaries.

The backpack, found early Thursday after police believe they happened onto a car burglary in process, contained what was determined to be stolen car stereos, compact discs and a CD case.

"The backpack is pretty unique," Police Chief Steve Wayman said. "Somebody's going to know who it belongs to."

About 1 a.m. Thursday, police were patrolling in the 100 block of Continental Drive, an area in which two car burglaries had been reported overnight Tuesday.

The patrol officer, Wayman said, came upon two men getting out of a car. When the officer asked the men to come talk to him, the two fled. The officer gave chase on foot through yards in the area, but he lost the men after they jumped a fence, Wayman said.

A canine unit from the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department was brought in to assist in the manhunt, but the tracking was unsuccessful.

The incident, Wayman said, was unrelated to a similar incident later in the week that resulted in the arrest of an 18-year-old Lansing man.

"Right now it looks like we had two different groups that were working independent of each other," Wayman said.

The backpack, which had been tossed by one of the suspect, has two distinct patches. On its top flap is a patch in the shape of a highway sign with the embroidered words "Highway 420." A pocket on the backpack has an American flag-style patch. But the blue union of the flag contains a marijuana leaf instead of 50 stars.

"We'd just like to have parents ask their kids and see if they're familiar with this backpack and who it belongs to," Wayman said.

Wayman said the officer who chased the two men described them as about 5-foot-10, 160 pounds. One of the men was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt; the other a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt. The officer was unsure of either suspect's race.

"We think it'll be somebody in their late teens, possibly early 20s," Wayman said of the suspects. "It's possible they could have lived in that area."

Wayman said one of his biggest concerns is that a 12-gauge shotgun was reported missing from one of the overnight Tuesday car burglaries. In all, police have taken four car burglary reports in two days in the area.

"It probably was a target of opportunity," Wayman said of the shotgun. "The guy probably broke into a car and just took it because it was there. But I don't like the idea of a shotgun being out there."

The burglars haven't caused any damage to the cars - yet, Wayman said. "But who knows? The next one may be."

Anyone with information about the thefts or the owner of the backpack is asked to call the Police Department, 727-3000.


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