LOCKWOOD, Mo.-- More than $100,000 worth of stolen property is recovered in a multi-county theft ring bust that resulted from a citizen tip. Investigators recovered truckloads full of stolen property from two homes in the Lockwood area.
Monty West now has a trailer and pickup bed full of his recovered property. He discovered it and more missing less than two weeks ago. They're things he uses to keep his farm going. "I had to go purchase a fence charger to keep my cattle in," West says.
The thieves took some valuable things from Monty's place, like welders and power tools, but they also took things that aren't worth much at all, like a jug of hand cleaner. "It was a hardship, because you just can't do nothing," West says.
But he got a pleasant surprise in a phone call Monday. Most of his stuff was recovered from a residence in the Lockwood area. "We do know this was a multi-county burglary ring that was taking place," says Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
An anonymous tip led officers to the home of 30 year old Tony Whaley in Lockwood Monday afternoon, where they found a working meth lab and large amounts of stolen property. "If it weren't for a tip of a concerned citizen, which led us to this, maybe some of these burglaries would have continued," says Pace.
Investigators found more stolen stuff at another Lockwood area home. It was all enough to fill three U-haul trucks. Authorities have one more person in custody, and other arrests pending.
"I'm surprised it wasn't long gone," says West. Now, many more people will be getting phone calls like West. "I'm tickled, real happy and pleased," he says.