Stolen Truck Pulled Out of River

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- A pick-up truck was pulled from the Big Blue River in Manhattan Wednesday after authorities received a break in a burglary and theft investigation in Pottawatomie County that’s more than a year old.

A 2002 GMC pick-up truck was recovered from west side of the river, just north of US 24 Wednesday morning.

On May 26, 2011, detectives say the truck was stolen from Cheney Construction, located on Hayes Drive in Manhattan- part of an industrial park. The suspects broke into the back lot of the business and stole the truck (the keys were inside), plowing through the company’s gate.

Captain Gerald Schmidt, lead detective with the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, says thieves were after the tools and equipment in the truck, which they stole to later sell. They then drove it a short distance to the river and sank it to cover up the crime.

“It was driven into the water. They put a weight on the gas pedal and floored it and it went flying off the cliff into the river,” he said.

Schmidt says new information received within the last two weeks from Junction City police in a separate, unrelated investigation led them to the location Wednesday. Two suspects have been identified in the Pottawatomie County case and are in custody on unrelated charges in Geary County, Schmidt told 13 News.

Based on the information from Junction City, Pottawatomie County investigators were able to locate the car with the help of the Corps of Engineers who pinpointed the location of the truck underwater. Members of the Marysville dive team and Manhattan Wrecker helped get it out of the river.

“A case will be submitted to the Pottawatomie County Attorney’s Office with suspect information and hopefully a warrant will be forthcoming…There’s not much value in the truck but it is information that will be valuable in prosecuting the persons that committed the burglary a little over a year ago,” Schmidt said.

Geary County Attorney Steve Opat could not comment on the Junction City investigation and how it relates to the Pottawatomie County case. Information on the suspects was not provided.


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