Stolen Camper Found, Arrest Made

A camper stolen earlier this week was found at an area lake, and an arrest has been made in connection to the case.

Saline County Lt. Jeremiah Hayes tells KSAL News that on Thursday, a suspicious camper was spotted at the Saline County State Lake, located at 3500 N. Gerard Road northwest of Salina. The camper was discovered to be stolen from a residence in Salina earlier in the week.

Nobody was inside the camper at the lake, and various stolen tools were found inside. As deputies were investigating, Hayes said a truck pulled up in the area and quickly reversed at a high rate of speed.

A pursuit of the truck led to a motel on Diamond Drive, where the suspect then fled on foot.

The suspect was soon apprehended, and he was identified as 27-year-old Christopher Gochanour of Salina.

A search warrant was secured for the truck, and more stolen tools were recovered. Methamphetamine and marijuana were also found in the truck and camper respectively, as well as some personal mail of the victim.

Hayes said some of the tools found in the truck were connected to a previous theft at Sunset Park. The recovered camper was also discovered to have the majority of its insignia spray-painted over. The truck had the license plate of another vehicle.

Gochanour was arrested and is facing requested charges of felony possession of stolen property, felony damage to property and felony interference among others. Gochanour also had an exisiting warrant in his name out of Saline County related to a rape case, and he was out on bond.

The camper was returned to its owner. This is an ongoing investigation with the Saline County Sheriff’s Office and Salina Police Department. The Kansas Highway Patrol assisted during the brief chase.

Undersheriff Brent Melander said there is still an inventory of stolen tools that deputies are trying to get back to their owners. Melander said if anyone has had a theft of tools in the past few weeks and have serial numbers of those tools, they can contact the Sheriff’s Office.

Original Story from May 4:

A camper that was loaded and ready to go for a trip was stolen over the course of Monday night.

Salina Police Capt. Paul Forrester tells KSAL News that the 2015 Jayco Jay Sport pop-up camper was taken from the 500 block of S. 11th Street between 11 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tuesday.

The 65-year-old Salina man who owns the camper told police that the camper was packed with travel gear and parked in the driveway. The man went to bed on Monday and woke up on Tuesday to find it missing.

The camper is tan in color, 16 feet by 7 feet and has Kansas tags reading 309 PPY. It is valued at $12,200.

There are no suspects at this time.