Following the recovery of a vehicle stolen during a break-in of Butler Community College's maintenance building the day after Christmas, the campus police are now searching for information to help solve the crime and return the stolen items to the facility.
"The facilities themselves received less than $500 in damage," said Tim Bryan, chief of campus police. "That is just the consideration of the locks and various mechanisms that will have to be replaced. Evidence shows that the thieves entered the facility by kicking in a set of double metal doors around the back of the building."
Aside from a vehicle, which was discovered three days after the initial break-in, the campus has yet to have any stolen items returned.
"The items that were stolen were all electrical in nature. They were taken from our fleet vehicles. Those vehicles are specifically for use on the campus for those electrical services. Some general hand tools were also taken from the vehicles and the facilities. We are currently watching various pawn shops and Craigslist to see if those items come up for sale."
The campus police, as well as the Butler County Sheriff's Office, have been working diligently collecting evidence to try to solve the crime.
"When the vehicle was found on the 29th, it was a very cold morning," Bryan said. "Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet and his team promptly responded to the scene. The vehicle was towed back to a facility on the campus and quickly processed for any evidence."
Video surveillance of the scene was also collected from the night of the theft, but the results were not as helpful as the parties involved would have hoped.
"The surveillance footage of that evening has provided us with a time stamp for the incident, but the quality of the video restricts us from gathering proper descriptions of the suspects," said Bryan. "The Sheriff's Office has been a tremendous help in this investigation and we hope to quickly recover all stolen items."
With the recent thefts in the area, the campus police and staff at Butler Community College have begun to explore ways to prevent this type of incident from happening again.
"Since the theft, the staff has held several meetings on how to improve loss prevention strategies, alarm platforms and minimize surveillance weaknesses," explained Bryan. "We've contacted Wichita police and the Kansas Intelligence Association to widen the search area for the stolen items. We've put photos of our equipment out all over the country. Several of the stolen items have been engraved with the BCC name to ensure they would be recognized. If they're encountered by any law enforcement across the country, they will be returned to us. Its always easier to implement crime prevention than it is to recover property."
Page 2 of 2 - Anyone with information regarding the theft is asked to contact the Butler Community College Campus Police at 316-321-7657.
Kari Adams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.