BARTON COUNTY —Law enforcement authorities are investigating a series of burglaries and have two suspects in custody.
Over the course of last several weeks the Barton County Sheriff’s Office has taken several burglary reports from late January to mid February, according to sheriff Brian Bellendir.
The estimated amount of loss has been in the tens of thousands of dollars. On February 20, the Sheriff’s office took a report of a stolen 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche in Barton County. The vehicle was located the next evening by the Larned Police Department and Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office. The occupants of the vehicle were arrested by the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office for drug charges as well as the possessing the stolen vehicle.
The Barton County Sheriff’s Office recovered the vehicle at which time they noted what appeared to be property matching the description of stolen property from Barton County thefts. Over the last week Sheriff’s deputies and detectives from the Barton County Sheriff’s Office have been conducting an investigation which led to the search of a residence in Hoisington, Kansas and recovered a substantial amount of stolen property. At least six burglaries in Barton County have been cleared, with the possibility of more being solved pending investigation.
The suspects, who had been arrested on the Pawnee County drug charges were in the Barton County Jail during this investigation. Two suspects have been booked for the burglaries. Edward Johnson age 51 and Austin Lemonds age 33, both of Hoisington, are also now being held on requested charges of two counts of burglary of a residence, three counts of burglary of a non-dwelling, four counts of criminal damage to property, four counts of conspiracy to commit burglary, four counts of criminal damage to property and three counts of criminal trespass. J
Not all the property has been recovered. Deputies are still looking for a Polaris Ranger ATV, a trailer, plasma cutters as well as other welding and shop equipment. We are seeking the public’s assistance if they have any information, please call Crime Stoppers of Barton County at 620-792-1300 or 888-305-1300. We would appreciate any information citizens may have. All calls are anonymous