(KMOV.com) – Police told News 4 they have arrested 14 people who allegedly broke into cars in Lincoln County.
Police say Ronald Goad, 57, and Kevin Thomas, 52, are the suspected ring leaders of the thefts and were giving marijuana and cash to the teenage suspects in exchange for the stolen goods.
Authorities said the thieves often broke into unlocked cars in rural areas, where many people leave their vehicles unlocked. According to police, there have been around 30 car break-ins in Lincoln County recently, most of which have occurred in the eastern part of the county along Route 47 between Troy and Winfield.
Lt. Andy Binder with Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office told News 4 thieves were not just going after cars on the street, but were also going into people’s garages in the middle of the night stealing guns and other items.
“As a result, we have five full time detectives that are working around the clock and haven’t slept in 36 hours working this case,” Binder said.
One victim told News 4 someone took her wallet, license, birth certificate, and Social Security card.
“People don’t realize how much trouble you have to go through to get that stuff back. I had to drive all the way to Hannibal to Social Security office to try get the card back and I can’t, because I don’t have a license,” Shelby Hayes said.
Authorities said five guns have been stolen and two of those have been recovered.