Law enforcement agencies throughout Missouri and in Ottawa have been working together to solve a car theft ring.
Thieves struck car dealerships in Missouri — from St. Louis to St. Joseph and Kansas City — as well as a dealership in Ottawa. A break in the case came this past weekend with the arrest of Travis Dixon, 18, a suspect in the Ottawa theft in late March.
“This case is a great example of detectives tracking down all leads, working with other agencies — even across state lines — and keeping other officers informed on suspect’s activity,” Adam Weingartner, Ottawa assistant police chief, said. “Detectives will continue to work with agencies in the KC metro area to try and recover the stolen vehicle and identify others involved and bring charges against them. The detectives have continued to follow up on it. One [Ottawa] detective has been attending a series of meetings with other law enforcement agencies that have been tracking this particular group for several months ... it resulted in an arrest, and we look for a good conclusion for us.”
Weingartner said charges should be announced soon against Dixon in the Ottawa case.
“We sent our report over to the county attorney’s office prior to this arrest,” he said. “They have a case they can work on. A warrant request was also sent for a 14-year-old male from Kansas City, Missouri.”
Weingartner said detectives attempted to have the juvenile come to Ottawa for an interview along with his parents, but they did not show up.
“If we had gotten him here, we would have arrested him for the crime,” he said.
Four suspects broke into Chrysler Jeep and Dodge, 327 W. 23rd St., Ottawa, on March 25, officials said. They kicked in the west door and other doors inside the dealership. Items were taken along with keys to three vehicles.
Weingartner said two of the three vehicles have been recovered and investigators are still searching for a Dodge 200 sedan.
“We have only been able to identify two people that are responsible,” Weingartner said. “Anyone else that was there has yet to be identified.”
He said photos of the suspects can be seen at https://tinyurl.com/yaqh3hom.
Weingartner said the teamwork of the different agencies helped tie the cases together.
“Without the use of technology, we might otherwise not know that the same people committed the same crimes in Harrisonville and Kansas City,” Weingartner said. “All of the agencies working to share this information helps. It is a very active group.”