Written by Hillsboro Free Press Monday, 24 December 2012 15:01
Hillsboro city leaders have solved the mystery of the city-owned pickup that was stolen seven months ago at the city electric shop on the north edge of town.
The thief or thieves apparently loaded $60,000 worth of copper wiring, tools and protective gear into the nearby pickup and drove off.
The theft occurred the first weekend of May. City Administrator Larry Paine said the break in the case came last week when a call came in to the city shop. A Coffeyville man asked if the city happened to be missing a pickup.
The man said he had driven his own car from Coffeyville to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, but the vehicle broke down while he was there.
Two men approached him, helped him with his car, then offered to lend him their truck so he could get home. They gave him a phone number and told him to call them when he got home so they would drive out and pick up the truck.
Moved by their generous offer, the man accepted it and drove home. But attempts to call the phone number the men had given never succeeded.
Eventually, the man searched the pickup more thoroughly and found a business card with the phone number to the city’s electric shop.
Electric superintendent Mike Duerksen answered the call and soon the mystery was solved.
“Our superintendent called our police department and says, ‘Think I know where our truck is,’” Paine told a Wichita TV crew who came out to do a story on the incident.
The pickup truck has been turned over to the insurance company since payment has already been received for the reported loss and the vehicle had been replaced.