Police Disappoint Victim of Stolen Truck

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LENEXA, Kan. -- A Lenexa man is upset that KCK police didn't do more investigating into who stole his truck, even after officers busted someone driving it.

Brian Krehbiel says back in November, his 2005 Ford F-250 Superduty diesel was stolen from his work parking lot in Lenexa, just off 95th and Renner Rd. It was there at lunch and gone four hours later.

"I was trying to remember where I parked and pretty quickly realized a vehicle that size wouldn't hide itself," he says.

He reported it stolen, and it cost him a lot of money to replace the truck, more than insurance covered. He never heard anything more about it until Monday when KCK Police called to tell him they recovered the truck. Police had pulled over a man for driving the truck with no tags and then arrested him for possession of stolen property. But since the man claimed he had only purchased the truck a week ago, they told Krehbiel they had to let the suspect go. (We're not identifying the suspect since he was never charged with anything.)

"They didn't have what the needed to charge him, and I said 'how does that work? How do you drive a stolen vehicle and be released?" he says.

Since the man didn't have a bill of sale or a title for the truck, Krehbiel thinks he should have been charged with possession of stolen property, but this case was never even sent to the Wyandotte County District Attorney. KCK Police say that's because there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. A police source tells me since the insurance is already paid, police often consider this a victimless crime. Krehbiel disagrees with that.

"Unless we take it seriously and work at it we're not going to change the outcome," he says, "and all of our insurance premiums are higher as a result."

It is interesting to note that in Washington State, police and prosecutors started a crack down of auto thefts in 2007, aggressively prosecuting cases, and have since seen a dramatic 50-percent reduction in auto theft.

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