Two City Owned Pickups Stolen in Cedar Rapids; One Later Recovered
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Three city-owned pickups have been stolen in the past two months after a break-in earlier this week.
Police are investigating after a burglary early Tuesday morning at a garage used by the Cedar Rapids parks and recreation department at 1050 Ellis Lane NW. An employee who was arriving for work at 3:55 a.m. saw two white pickups belonging to the city headed north on Ellis Boulevard NW, and then discovered the break-in, police said.
According to a police report, a 2005 Ford F-250 pickup valued at $8,000 and a 2008 Ford F-150 pickup valued at $10,000 were stolen, along with various items and tools valued at $463.
Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said the burglary reportedly happened during a span of less than four hours after midnight Tuesday. She said the suspects got in by prying open a locked door. She was unsure how the suspects got access to the keys.
The 2008 Ford was recovered Thursday morning at the Cedar Terrace mobile home court, near the intersection of Western Drive and North Avenue SW. Hamblin said paint had been sprayed on the pickup to cover up a city logo.
Another city-owned pickup was stolen July 13 while workers were trimming trees near Otis Road and 12th Avenue SE. Police said keys were left in the pickup. It was recovered a few weeks later, but had been spray-painted gray.
Cole M. Offerman, 19, of 801 16th Ave. SW, charged with second-degree theft and interference with official acts in connection with the July theft. He has been in the Linn County Jail since his arrest in August and is awaiting trial.
Police were still trying to locate the other pickup stolen this week.
Julie Sina, director of the parks and recreation department, said the two incidents occurred under different circumstances, but she has implemented security changes after each theft to make sure it doesn't happen again. She said vehicles will now be locked even when they are parked inside locked buildings.
"We are taking measures to do that at not only this building, but all of our buildings in the future," Sina said.
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