Sheriff to buy storage trailers to hold recovered stolen property

No arrests had been made as of Monday following the recovery of a large amount of stolen property at a residence north of Carbondale last week, but the sheriff’s office now needs space to store some of the property.

Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn reported to the Osage County Commission on Monday that some of the property, mostly construction equipment and trailers, has been returned to owners, but the remainder will need to be stored as evidence or until owners are identified.

On June 16, the sheriff’s office reported that a search warrant had been served at 449 W. 117th St., Carbondale, to search for cultivated marijuana and stolen property. Deputies recovered four enclosed trailers of various sizes, four flatbed trailers of various sizes, and a large amount of stolen property; some of which has already been identified and returned to owners.

Items recovered by the deputies have been connected to burglaries and thefts reported by the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department, Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office and the Topeka Police Department. Deputies also seized an undisclosed amount of controlled substances and cultivated marijuana. A second search warrant was served at the location on June 18, the sheriff told Osage County News.

Dunn told the commissioners Monday none of the property cleared any Osage County burglaries or thefts.

“So far, we’ve not found anything from Osage County,” Dunn said.

She said that although some of the property has been released and other owners and agencies have been notified, storage space is needed.

“We’ve got stuff from all over northeast Kansas,” Dunn said.

Dunn told commissioners although no arrests have been made in the case, charges are pending against the resident who was at the home at the time of the search warrants were served. Dunn did not identify the person at the residence, but said the case was being referred to the county attorney for charges to be filed.

County land records show that Linda J. Lee is the owner of 3.8 acres at the address reported by the sheriff’s office.

During Monday’s commission meeting, Dunn requested authorization to purchase two enclosed trailers to store the property, saying she had located two for $1,500 each.

Commissioners inquired whether the trailers would be large enough to store a vehicle, referring to a 1992 Ford Explorer that is evidence in the case against James Kraig Kahler. Kahler was sentenced to death in 2011 for a 2009 quadruple murder that happened at Burlingame.

Dunn said the county now pays $65 a month to store and secure the vehicle, and it would fit in one of the storage trailers after the other property has been inventoried and disbursed.

But for now, “I need storage to put stolen property in,” Dunn told commissioners. She said she had checked a local storage facility, which only had one unit available that would not hold all of the property.

The commissioners agreed with Dunn’s idea.

“It’d be cheaper and we’d eventually stop paying rent on that car,” said Osage County Commissioner Gaylord Anderson.

The commissioners authorized Dunn to purchase the two trailers, which she said would be obtained from Ft. Riley.

Dunn said other suspects in the stolen property case have been identified and are being sought with assistance of other law enforcement agencies.

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