Posts tagged with Hasimage

Accused thief back in jail, less than two weeks after being freed by jury

Matthew Reynard’s freedom was short-lived.

Less than two weeks after a jury acquitted him in a theft case and he was released from jail for the first time in months, Reynard got arrested again this week on suspicion of … theft.

Reynard, 37, of Lawrence, was booked into jail early Tuesday morning on suspicion of theft, shoplifting, criminal use of a financial card and possession of stolen property, according to jail records.

A four-hour crime spree preceded that arrest, police say. According to Officer Drew Fennelly, a spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department:

Just before midnight, a purse was stolen at a downtown drinking establishment. About 1 a.m., police were dispatched to Walmart, where someone was trying to make a large purchase with credit cards suspected of being stolen — and turned out to be from the purse taken earlier. Before officers arrived, the suspect left Walmart, also taking merchandise that wasn’t paid for.

About 4 a.m., police were dispatched to Checkers grocery store, where a suspect was trying to make a large purchase with stolen credit cards. Officers caught the suspect there and found him in possession of the credit cards from the purse and the merchandise from Walmart.

In July, Reynard was charged with stealing thousands of dollars in equipment from an animal lab at the University of Kansas. On Nov. 9, he was released from jail after a jury found him not guilty of the charges: one count of burglary and two counts of theft, all felonies.

Matthew C. Reynard

Matthew C. Reynard

— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.

Reply 3 comments from Bob Smith Chris Johnson Dorothyhoytreed

Robbers reportedly target KU student walking on campus late at night, steal his cookies

Three men allegedly attacked a University of Kansas student walking on campus late Friday night and stole not his backpack, phone or money but "his Hot Box cookies,” according to information from KU police.

Two cookies — which the victim was carrying in a box — were stolen, said Deputy Chief James Anguiano of the KU Office of Public Safety. He said the cookies were valued at $5.

The robbery allegedly occurred between 10 and 10:45 p.m. Friday in the 1300 block of Hoch Auditoria Drive, near Anschutz Library, according to the KU police crime log. It was reported to KU police about 11:45 p.m.

The victim reportedly was jumped on and pushed to the ground, but was not injured, according to a Crime Alert KU police sent out early Saturday morning. The suspects were described as three white males with brown hair, dark shirts and dark pants. Two were approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall, and the third about 5 feet 5 inches.

Anschutz Library, 1301 Hoch Auditoria Drive on the Kansas University campus.

Anschutz Library, 1301 Hoch Auditoria Drive on the Kansas University campus. by Sara Shepherd

Anyone with tips about the crime is asked to call KU police at 864-5900 or KU Crime Stoppers at 864-8888.

— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.

Reply 4 comments from Clara Westphal Dorothyhoytreed Bob Smith Dowser

Drivers, be aware of deer: Mating season means more animals in roadways

I’ve seen quite a few deer on my drive into work lately on the Kansas Turnpike — one on the back of a trailer, a couple in the median about a car-length from each other, and one right in the middle of my lane (well, part of one).

Luckily I wasn’t the driver who turned any of those deer into roadkill, but unfortunately someone else out there did. It’s that time of year, authorities say, when deer are most likely to be out on the road.

Kansas typically sees the highest number of deer-vehicle crashes in mid-November, when the “rut” — or mating season — peaks, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol. Also in the fall, deer are increasingly active seeking new food sources and shelter, as their habitat transforms with crops being harvested and leaves falling from trees and shrubs.

A deer crosses a road north of Lawrence during the morning of Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014.

A deer crosses a road north of Lawrence during the morning of Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. by Richard Gwin

Some numbers:

• The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has been handling on average four or five deer-related crashes a day in the past couple weeks, the office said in a Facebook post this week.

• 10,235, or 16 percent, of all 62,150 vehicle crashes reported in Kansas in 2016 were deer-related, according to Kansas Department of Transportation figures shared by the highway patrol. In those crashes, seven people were killed.

• Douglas County had 262 deer-related crashes in 2016, in which 14 people were injured, according to the highway patrol.

And some safety tips for drivers, from the Turnpike and other authorities:

• Be especially cautious from sunset to midnight and shortly before and after sunrise. This is when deer are most active.

• If you see one deer, watch for others. They seldom run alone.

• At night, use high beams when there’s no oncoming traffic.

• To frighten deer away, slow down and blow your horn with one long blast.

• Avoid exaggerated maneuvers to avoid a deer in the road. “If you are unfortunate enough to have a deer enter the highway in front of your car, it is best to hit the animal and not swerve to avoid it,” highway patrol Lt. Adam Winters said, in the news release. “Often we find more serious crashes occur when you swerve to miss the deer, potentially losing control of your vehicle, leaving the road or veering into oncoming traffic.”

• If you do hit a deer, pull over on the shoulder or nearby parking lot, turn on your flashers and call law enforcement, the sheriff’s office suggests. Stay buckled up, but if you must wait outside your car stand as far away from the road as possible. Leave the deer alone, law enforcement will handle it.

A deer alert factsheet from the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

A deer alert factsheet from the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.

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Lawrence’s ‘harming plants’ law in action

In Lawrence there’s a law against harming plants. And every once in a while I’ve seen people arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of violating it. Here’s one recent incident that happened on the University of Kansas campus, although in this case the alleged plant-harmer is still at large.

Last week, according to the online KU police crime log, someone reported that a vehicle went off the road overnight, did some doughnuts and damaged the grass near the Library Annex, 1880 Westbrooke St. over on West Campus. The case is still open, according to the crime log.

Not that I’m not curious, but being pretty busy covering things like murder and rape cases I haven’t dug into any of the other harming-plants arrests to see what they were about. The ordinance appears it would cover everything from angrily ripping up your neighbor’s flower bed to stealing a snack from a fruit tree that isn’t yours (unless it belongs to the city).

Here’s the city’s ordinance against harming plants, a category of criminal damage to property:

No person shall willfully injure or destroy any plant, tree, vine, or flower, the property of another, standing on or attached to the land of another, or shall pick, destroy, or carry away therefrom or in any way interfere with any part of the flowers or fruit thereof; except that this section shall not prohibit the picking or carrying away of the ripe fruit of any tree, plant, or vine on any property owned by the City of Lawrence; provided, however, that no ripe fruit of any tree, plant or vine located in a public right-of-way or leased to another party shall be so picked or carried away.

Rain falls on flowers on the University of Kansas campus Monday, May 16, 2016, as a passerby with an umbrella walks in the background.

Rain falls on flowers on the University of Kansas campus Monday, May 16, 2016, as a passerby with an umbrella walks in the background.

— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.

Reply 5 comments from Doyle Coons Notwhatyouthink2 Carol Bowen Ken Lassman Mikegant

Drug Take Back Day is Saturday; dump your expired, unused medications safely at 2 locations in Lawrence

Got expired or unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications? Law enforcement is planning an event that could spur you to declutter your medicine cabinet — and, more importantly, to help keep those drugs out of the wrong hands.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, as part of a national initiative, is planning a Drug Take Back Day this weekend. Unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs will be collected from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at two locations: inside Hy-Vee at 4000 W. Sixth St., and in the parking lot on the east side of the downtown Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th St. (near the intersection of 11th and Rhode Island streets).

Veterinary drugs will be accepted, but the sheriff’s office cannot accept inhalers, needles or other sharp objects. There is no charge, and dropoff is anonymous.

Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including home medicine cabinets, according to a news release from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. Additionally, traditional methods for getting rid of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential safety and health hazards and should be avoided.

“Unused medications are dangerous for kids, pets and the environment,” Schmidt said. “Diversion of opioid painkillers, in particular, can contribute to the misuse of these drugs that has become a serious nationwide problem. Getting leftover medicines out of the medicine cabinets and safely destroyed keeps them from falling into the wrong hands.”

At Douglas County’s last Drug Take Back Day, in April, the sheriff’s office collected nearly 1,000 pounds of medications. According to the attorney general’s office, since the program began in 2010, more than 58 tons of unwanted meds have been collected and destroyed statewide.

None


— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.

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Saturday morning pancake feed will help firefighters’ charity efforts

This summer I wrote about a group of firefighters mobilizing to help Irma Blair, the widow of the first firefighter to die on duty in the 127-year history of the Lawrence Fire Department. Blair’s husband, Mark Blair, died at age 34 fighting a house fire in 1986. More than 30 years later, firefighters are helping Irma Blair as she undergoes treatment for cancer.

That group of firefighters is the Lawrence Professional Firefighters Charitable Foundation. Blair’s case is just one of the efforts the foundation has undertaken since recently forming as a formal nonprofit.

For those of you who like pancakes on Saturday mornings, here’s an opportunity to get some for a good cause.

The Foundation is planning a “Hotcake Chow Down” from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Freddy’s Frozen Custard, 2030 W. 23rd St. It’s an all-you-can-eat breakfast for $5 plus any additional free-will donations.

Foundation Chairman Tim Reazin, a firefighter who’s also the mayor of Eudora, said the foundation also has built a ramp for a disabled firefighter and supported Muscular Dystrophy Association, Relay for Life and the Special Olympics. The group’s Facebook page is at facebook.com/Lawrence-Professional-Firefighters-Charitable-Foundation-177182009354565/.

Volunteers organized by the Lawrence Professional Firefighters Charitable Foundation work on the Lawrence house of Irma Blair. Blair is the widow of Mark Blair, a Lawrence firefighter who was killed on duty in 1986.

Volunteers organized by the Lawrence Professional Firefighters Charitable Foundation work on the Lawrence house of Irma Blair. Blair is the widow of Mark Blair, a Lawrence firefighter who was killed on duty in 1986.

— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.

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Whose rims are those? Police share surveillance photos of suspect vehicle in ATV thefts

Thieves reportedly made off with a couple of utility vehicles and trailers from businesses on a busy Lawrence street, and police are seeking the public’s help in figuring out who they are.

The first theft was reported July 30 and occurred sometime over the previous night, Lawrence Police Officer Drew Fennelly said. Two Kubota utility vehicles — the kind that look like ATVs with roll-cages over the seats — and a flatbed trailer were taken from McConnell Machinery Co. at 1111 E. 23rd St. The stolen items are valued at about $27,500.

The second case happened about 5:30 a.m. July 31, Fennelly said. A flatbed trailer, valued at about $1,000, was stolen from Kaw Valley Industrial at 1105 E. 23rd St.

“We believe it was the same suspects in both incidents,” specifically three males, Fennelly said.

Police are sharing surveillance photos of a suspect vehicle in hopes someone will recognize it, Fennelly said. They're not great quality photos — the SUV is barely in the frame — but a key characteristic does show up: As Fennelly put it, that would be the SUV's “distinctive” metal rims.

None by Lawrence Police

Anyone with information may call police at 830-7430 or Crime Stoppers of Lawrence and Douglas County at 843-8477 (TIPS).

This surveillance photo from the Lawrence Police Department shows a vehicle suspected of being linked to the thefts of ATVs and trailers from businesses on 23rd Street in July 2017. Police note that the time stamp on the image is not correct, however.

This surveillance photo from the Lawrence Police Department shows a vehicle suspected of being linked to the thefts of ATVs and trailers from businesses on 23rd Street in July 2017. Police note that the time stamp on the image is not correct, however.


— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.

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Shooting deaths of mother, 3-year-old daughter put focus on domestic violence in Douglas County

The deaths this week of Erin Berg and her 3-year-old daughter, Mazey, could be considered the most extreme act of domestic violence — murder-suicide at the hands of Berg’s former partner and the child’s father.

Lawrence’s Willow Domestic Violence Center is one of the organizations that Berg’s family requested, in her obituary, that memorial contributions be made to. The tragic crime has put a spotlight on domestic violence in the Lawrence area, said Joan Schultz, executive director of the Willow Domestic Violence Center.

“The conversation around domestic violence and its ramifications are heightened,” Schultz said. “I gain hope in the community’s reaction to this act. Our Lawrence-Douglas County area has pulled together, supported Erin and her child Mazey and shown the family support.”

Erin Berg and her 3-year-old daughter, Mazey.

Erin Berg and her 3-year-old daughter, Mazey.

Willow offers a safe house and support for victims of domestic violence. It also provides community education on the issue. Schultz urges any victims of domestic violence to call Willow to talk about how to stay safe and, if the plan is to leave an abuser, develop a safety plan. She also urged friends and loved ones of someone who is dealing with domestic violence to call, as Willow also offers education about how to support and talk to victims.

To get help or to find more information about Willow, go online to willowdvcenter.org. The organization also has a 24-hour hotline, 1-800-770-3030 or 785-843-3333.


— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.

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