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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Local Crime Stoppers board hears of parking lot pranks

Area residents are being asked to take particular notice if someone or something seems out of the ordinary on local parking lots.

Kevin Litchfield, president of the Barry-Lawrence Chapter of Crime Stoppers, reported being in a vehicle on the parking lot of a local retail business waiting for his wife to finish shopping when he observed some suspicious activity by two men on bicycles.

When a car would pull onto the lot and park and the driver had entered the store, one of them would ride by the vehicle very slowly and flip the door handle, I suppose to see if it was unlocked,” he said. “The way they were doing it, they didn’t even have to slow down.”

Litchfield said when one of the individuals became aware that he was watching their activity, they rode their bikes behind the store and came out on the other side.

Det. Dave Haskins reported having had several reports of vehicles being broken into, or merely entered because they were unlocked, and the owner’s belongings being rifled or taken.

We had a report just this morning (Thursday, Aug. 15), that someone had a gun stolen from their vehicle,” Haskins said. We have had six reports of vehicles being entered in the last few days. People are losing guns, purses or wallets, credit cards and other items of value. We currently have no suspects, but we do have tips.

We would definitely respond to a call like that,” he told Litchfield. “Next time, if you think to take a video, it might help us identify someone. If the activity is that specific, take video and turn it into the police.”

The activity is not limited to the Monett area. Pierce City Police Chief Mike Abramovitz reported having three vehicles broken into in recent days.

We do have a suspect identified,” he said. “The individual has warrants out for his arrest, one from Monett and one from Anderson. This is the same individual who stole a lottery ticket and cashed it in a neighboring town.”

Abramovitz also reported that a “porch pirate” had stolen a package containing girls clothing from a residence in Pierce City, but that no security cameras were set up in the area to capture a photo of the subject.

Det. Sgt. Melissa “Mo” Stanford, of Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, reported that her department is seeking the whereabouts of Wesley Louderback, who she said has been relieved of weapons on numerous occasions.

Most of his activity has taken place around the Halltown and Miller areas,” she said. “He is considered armed and dangerous.”

The next meeting of the Barry-Lawrence chapter of Crime Stoppers will be at noon on Thursday, Sept. 18, at Angus Branch Restaurant on Hwy. 60 in Monett.

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