Stolen truck rams business; string of thefts likely connected

Police were dispatched to the 400 block of South Burnett Road at about 4:15 a.m. Sunday on a report that a dark-colored pickup truck had rammed open the doors of a business. A witness told police he saw the truck back up into the rear doors of Showplace, a rental business at 526 S. Burnett Road. Someone ran inside, came back out with a flat screen TV and air conditioner before taking off, according to Springfield police.

Similar burglaries have been reported at Butts & Barrels gun shop, Gun Smoke, Showplace and Best Buy this summer. In each case, a stolen vehicle was used to ram open the business. Many times the vehicles were then dumped near Kenton Street, so officers headed that way after hearing about this latest break-in, according to the report.

An officer spotted the truck matching the description of the one used in the Showplace break-in near Elder and Kenton streets and pursued it. The truck hit a power pole, causing damage, before sliding across a field and stopping along a the front lawn 705 Catherine St. The driver ran from the wreckage and eluded arrest, police said.

Officers learned that the vehicle had been stolen from Ralph’s Auto Sales, 1936 Lagonda Ave. It’s the same vehicle that was stolen from that lot July 31. The owner, Ralph Marinacci, said an employee picked up the car after the last break-in using an extra set of keys. He suspects whoever stole the truck in the first place used it again in this latest incident.

“I don’t think they stole the truck to go get wood, so it doesn’t surprise me,” he said.

Police went to the dealership and found that a hole had been cut in the fence to the business, but officers could not determine whether the damage to the fence was old or new. Marinacci said someone damaged his surveillance cameras, so footage was not available.

Anyone with information can call Springfield police at (937) 324-7716.

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