The Lawrence Crime Blotter
Burglaries happened earlier this week at three different Lawrence establishments, but despite the common time frame, police say there's no immediate sign that they're connected.¢ Between midnight and 6:55 a.m. Monday, someone entered an office at University Christian Fellowship, 1204 Oread Ave., and stole credit cards, $40 cash, a $700 laptop computer, and a $300 digital camera. There was no forced entry. The fellowship's minister noticed the burglary after getting a phone message from the bank saying there had been suspicious activity on an account.¢ Someone damaged an office door between Saturday night and Monday at The Knights of Columbus hall, 2206 E. 23rd St., and stole $350 in currency. There was no damage to the building's exterior doors.¢ Between 10 p.m. Monday and 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, someone entered El Matador, 446 Locust St., damaged a cash register, and stole two guitars valued at $1,050 total. Police found a pry mark on a rear door and a screwdriver nearby.Injury accidentA 79-year-old woman was taken by ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital Tuesday afternoon after a three-vehicle wreck at 23rd and Massachusetts Streets. The wreck happened at 2:12 p.m. when Robert J. Anderson, 62, Lawrence, was driving west on 23rd Street. A 1996 Toyota driven by Robert E. Mellon, 84, Lawrence, was eastbound and turned left in front of Anderson's truck. They collided, and the Toyota struck a southbound Ford Escort that was stopped in traffic. A passenger in Mellon's vehicle, 79-year-old Jean L. Brothers of Lawrence, was taken to the hospital. She was wearing a seatbelt.-Contributed by [Eric Weslander.] : http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/eric_weslander
A jury today cleared a former group-home worker of most of the abuse charges against him and failed to reach a verdict on the remaining counts. Jurors deliberated for four hours in District Court before finding Dustin D. Taylor, 21, not guilty of six counts and failing to reach a verdict on the other two. He was charged with abusing a mentally disabled man last summer at Ponderosa House, a group home operated by Community Living Opportunities."We thought all along that the state didn't have a strong case and that his conduct was not worthy of charges," said Paul Davis, Taylor's attorney. "What happened really was an employee that was trying to do a difficult job and doing the best he could under some difficult circumstances."Prosecutors alleged Taylor abused the 57-year-old man in two separate incidents last summer.¢ Jurors found Taylor not guilty of all charges related to a June 17, 2005 incident in which prosecutors alleged he failed to use a "gait belt" to lift the man off the ground. Taylor testified he wasn't trained to use the belt. ¢ Jurors found Taylor not guilty of two charges related to a June 28, 2005 incident in which he allegedly lifted the man from a chair by his armpits and squeezed his cheeks together. They failed to reach a verdict on two of the counts related to that incident.Even though there were only two incidents, jurors had eight total charges to consider. In each incident, they could have found him guilty of one of four things: battery, or one of three types of "mistreatment of a dependent adult."The case was prosecuted by the Kansas Atty. Gen.'s office. It's not yet known whether the office will seek a new trial for the charges on which a jury couldn't decide-- in part because there may be double-jeopardy concerns. Judge Michael Malone asked Deputy Att. Gen. Rex Beasley whether his office wanted to try the case again, assuming it legally could."I'm not in a position to answer that," Beasley said.Contributed by [Eric Weslander.] : http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/ericweslander
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is asking the public's help finding a 2-year-old boy believed to have been abducted by his father.Here is the announcement sent out this morning by the sheriff's office:ON JUNE 19, 2006 A PARENTAL ABDUCTION OCCURRED FROM JEFFERSON COUNTYCHILD: JOSEPH DEAN LONG 2 YEARS OLD WHITE MALE BLONDE HAIR BLUE EYESIT IS BELIEVED THE CHILD WAS ABDUCTED BY HIS BIOLOGICAL FATHERFATHER: DAVID DENE WANZER 29 YEARS OLD WHITE MALE 5'9 / 140LBS HAZEL EYESLAST SEEN DRIVING A BLACK 4 DOOR MITSUBISHI WITH OKLAHOMA TAGS POSSIBLY HEADING BACK TO OKLAHOMA OR LEE SUMMIT, MISSOURI (TO HIS SISTERS HOUSE)IF LOCATED CONTACT JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE 785-863-2351
A 13-year-old girl told police she was taking out the trash at her apartment in north central Lawrence when a 43-year-old male acquaintance pushed her back into her apartment and raped her. The incident happened between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. June 11 but wasn't reported to police until Friday. The suspect, a 43-year-old Lawrence man, was booked into the Douglas County Jail Saturday on suspicion of aggravated burglary and aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
News from this morning's police briefing:¢ A 24-year-old woman told Lawrence police she may have been hit by a BB gun or similar air gun Wednesday night while walking near South Park. The woman said she and a friend were walking along the west side of Mass. Street about 9:50 p.m. when she heard a "pop" sound and felt a sharp pain in her shoulder blade. She told police she looked around but didn't see anything suspicious in the immediate area, according to a report. She told police she had a welt on her shoulder but wasn't seriously injured.¢ Someone caused $150 in damage to glass on the front entrance door of Century School, 816 Ky., between 5 p.m. Tuesday and 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. ¢ Two auto burglaries happened early Monday in the 400 block of Eldridge Street, according to police reports released this morning. A CD player and $1,600 worth of compact discs were stolen from one; a $2,000 laptop computer was taken from the other. ¢ The engine of a $30,000 Gleaner combine caught fire Wednesday afternoon in a wheat field near North 680 and East 1050 Road, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. The fire had to be extinguished by the Willow Springs Township fire department. -Contributed by [Eric Weslander.] : www2.ljworld.com/staff/eric_weslander
Lawrence police believe the rape of a 21-year-old woman early Monday morning inside her home may be connected to two other unsolved rapes in the city. According to police, the latest victim was sexually assaulted by an armed intruder just before 3 a.m. The suspect -- as in two previous rape cases from 2004 -- is described as a white male in his 20s, approximately six feet tall, with a slim build.In July 2004, a woman in her 20s was raped inside her Southwest Lawrence home. That attack also occurred around 3 a.m.And in late December 2004, two women were sexually assaulted inside the same Lawrence apartment. The suspect in both of those cases was also armed with a weapon. Clarification: It was one incident, with two victims.Police ask if you see anyone acting suspiciously matching this suspect's description to call the anonymous CrimeStoppers hotline at (785) 843-TIPS, or the Lawrence Police Department Detective division directly at (785) 830-7430.Police also want to hear from anyone who may have been a victim of a similar crime. - Contributed by [Janet Reid.] : http://www.6newslawrence.com/staff/janet_reid/
Just about anyone can get caught up in an Internet scam. It happened in recent weeks to Assistant Douglas County administrator Pam Madl, who was trying to sell her car through the Internet. According to a Douglas County sheriff's report, in May a prospective buyer contacted Madl through the Internet and agreed to buy her car for $7,100. The buyer sent Madl a check for $14,600, drawn on a bank in Madrid, Spain, and asked her to send back the difference. It's a typical scam, in which the check turns out to be worthless and the victim loses the "excess" money he or she has sent back to the buyer. But it sounded suspicious to Madl, and she reported it to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. The check turned out to be forged, Lt. Kari Wempe said.So far, investigators haven't been able to identify a suspect.Other crime-related news this morning:¢ A 42-year-old man is suspected of repeatedly asking a 15-year-old female relative to "display her body" between December 2004 and February 2005 at a home in eastern Lawrence, according to a Lawrence Police report. The girl refused the request. The case has been forwarded to Dist. Atty. Charles Branson's office for possible charges.¢ At least five vehicles were burglarized between 6:30 p.m. Monday and 12:30 a.m. Tuesday at Garber Automotive, 450 N. Iowa, according to police reports. The total loss was about $2,000, mostly in damage to cars. Items stolen from the vehicles included lien release papers, a spare tire, a set of speakers and an amplifier.¢ Two gas stations were burglarized overnight within minutes of each other. Between roughly 3:15 and 3:45 a.m. today, someone broke a glass window on a door at both Presta Phillips 66, 602 W. Ninth St., and Presto, 1802 W. 23rd St. Nothing was taken from Presta, but there was about $1,000 in damage to the door. The Presto store had $150 in damage and about $240 worth of cigarette cartons stolen.¢ A 31-year-old Lawrence man has been arrested for aggravated battery in relation to a fight Monday evening at Gazebo Apartments in the 2400 block of West 24th Terrace. A 50-year-old man was struck in the head with a rock or brick during the fight, according to a report. - Contributed by [Eric Weslander.] : http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/eric_weslander/
¢ A 24-year-old Lawrence man is looking for his dog, but he says it's not lost. The man reported the one-year-old brindle pitbull was stolen out of his fenced-in backyard in the 1300 block of Summit, either late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. The victim said the 45-pound pitbull is valued at $400. He told police the dog could not have gotten out of the yard on its own. ¢ Police arrested a 22-year-old Topeka man on aggravated battery charges in connection with an attack on an 18-year-old woman outside the East Lawrence Recreation Center.Officers were called to Lawrence Memorial Hospital Sunday afternoon where the victim was being treated for her injuries. The teen told police she was standing outside the rec center in the 1200 block of East 15th Street just before 6:45 p.m. Sunday, when the suspect approached her and a group of friends. The women had been attending a baby shower. Police said the suspect struck the victim in the face, sending her to the hospital. Police arrested the suspect the following day after recognizing him during a traffic stop at 14th and Massachusetts streets. ¢ Lawrence police arrested a 31-year-old Haskell Indian Nations University student accused of beating his girlfriend then pouring lighter fluid throughout her home. The suspect was booked into the Douglas County Jail early Monday morning on domestic battery and aggravated arson charges.Officers were called to the 19-year-old victim's apartment in the 1100 block of Connecticut around 10 p.m. Sunday. Lawrence police said the woman had been beaten by her boyfriend, and the suspect then spread lighter fluid around the house, threatening to set it on fire.- Contributed by [Janet Reid.] : http://www.6newslawrence.com/staff/janet_reid/
Police were called to a home in central Lawrence just before 3 am Tuesday, after a 21-year-old woman reported she was raped. The Lawrence Police Department is releasing few details about the incident other than the victim reported an unidentified man sexually assaulted her.According to Lawrence Police Department spokeswoman Kim Murphree, officers were still on the scene late Tuesday morning canvassing the neighborhood and following leads. Police ask anyone with information on the rape to call the anonymous CrimeStoppers hotline at 843-TIPS or the Lawrence Police Detective Division directly at 830-7430.- Contributed by [Janet Reid.] : http://www.6newslawrence.com/staff/janet_reid/
More than 80 people from 28 states were arrested in the past four days, as 15,000 people came to Lawrence for the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival at Clinton State Park.By the numbers:¢ At least 25 of those arrested had a marijuana-related charge.¢ 12 had an LSD-related charge.¢ Six had a cocaine-related charge¢ 47 people were arrested for being a minor in possession of alcohol. In most cases, officers from the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control made the arrest.¢ Friday should be a crowded day in District Court. Most of the people arrested and released on bond were given the same court time: this coming Friday at 1:30. It remains to be seen how many actually appear. ¢ Those arrested came from the following states: Kansas (14), Missouri (9), Wisconsin (8), Colorado (7), Oklahoma (6), Illinois (5), New Mexico (4), Iowa (3), New Jersey (3), New York (3), Vermont (2), Pennsylvania (2), Kentucky (2), Nebraska (2), Mississippi (2), Georgia (2), West Virginia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Montana, Connecticut, California, Indiana, North Carolina, and Louisiana (1 each).