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Hundreds of items found in a theft and drug bust
The Hastings Police Department has uncovered hundreds of stolen items. It's part of a theft and drug ring that has been operating in the area for the past several months.
"We have some cases with quite a bit of property on occasion, but this is kind of unusual to find this much," said Capt. Adam Story with the Hastings Police Department.
The Hastings Police Department with assistance of the Adams County Sheriff's Department, served eight search warrants on June 7 in both Hastings and rural Adams County. They recovered 362 stolen items, worth tens of thousands of dollars. They are all linked to a theft and drug ring.
"There were some individuals that were involved in narcotics or the distribution of illegal drugs," Story said. "This property was either obtained through them stealing it themselves, or taking it on trade for drugs."
The items range from flat-screen TVs, laptops, cell phones, wedding rings and much more.
"Each bit of that property represents a loss of freedom that people have had to deal with," said Officer Jerry Esch with the Hastings Police Department. "That's what crime does, it takes away your freedom."
News 5's Katie Gauthier's apartment was broken into back in January and several of her items were stolen, including her purse, laptop, and e-reader.
"People are a little insecure in their households when their property has been taken. I'm sure you can speak for that yourself," Esch added.
"The good news, my camera is one of the hundreds of items sprawled across the table. While it's not everything, it is something to me. It brings me a sense of relief," said Katie Gauthier.
"(Katie's) case is unique because we didn't have much to go on," Esch said. "When I was able to identify some of her property, not all of it, it was a relief to me to be able to call her up and say here come down and look at this."
The items are being identified as stolen in both burglaries and thefts from vehicles and homes. When you're a victim to the crime, you feel targeted.
"In this case we learned that it wasn't anything personal," said Esch. "Most of it is probably methamphetamine driven or narcotic driven. It's about a trade off. It's about chasing a high and that's what addiction is."
"This supports I guess the knowledge that there are victims to that crime and items get taken to support those drug habits," Story added.
The Hastings Police Department do have suspects in the case but no arrests have been made.
If you have been a victim of a burglary or theft, whether you reported it or not, contact the Hastings Police Department to see if your property has been recovered.
This can be done Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m at the station, which is located at 317 S. Burlington Avenue.
You can call the Hastings Police Department at 402-461-2380.
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