Man charged with stealing equipment ahead of Biden’s speech in Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 36-year-old man is facing charges for stealing communications equipment ahead of President Joe Biden’s speech in Kansas City, Missouri this week.

Jason P. Keith was charged Thursday with stealing $750 or more worth of equipment.

According to court documents, around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, employees at a Defense Information Systems Agency noticed that the locks on the back of their two enclosed U-Haul trucks had been cut off and some of the communications equipment had been stolen from the back of one.

The two trucks were parked in an underground parking garage at the Intercontinental Hotel in the County Club Plaza.

The stolen items included a dolly and hard plastic cases containing cable reels, sound equipment, extension cords and a fall protection kit, valued at approximately $14,000 total.

The stolen equipment was to be used by Biden when he gave his speech Wednesday.

Using city cameras as well as surveillance video from businesses, detectives were able to follow the suspect along multiple routes.

Just before 5 a.m. a security guard and two UMKC police officers confronted Keith as he was rearranging the stolen equipment on the stolen dolly, however the stealing had not been reported at the time, according to court documents.

Keith was taken into custody just after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday after being found in possession of some of the stolen equipment. The rest of the stolen equipment was found in the woods behind a gas station.

Detectives attempted to interview Keith but he requested an attorney.

A hearing has been scheduled in Jackson County Court for Dec. 16, 2021 at 10 a.m.

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