UPDATE: Three Salina men are arrested after a two week long investigation in to stolen police equipment concludes.
The case stems from over $5,000 of equipment belonging to the Salina Police Department was stolen from an unlocked personal vehicle of an SPD officer on Dec. 29.
The case led investigators with both the Salina Police Department and Saline County Sheriff’s Office to 110 Raleigh St., the home of 25-year-old Jeremy Cullens, Salina, as he is believed to be responsible for the burglary. On Dec. 31, SPD went to the residence and found 23-year-old Byron Meef, Salina, leaving in a van. Meef saw the officers and attempted to run away, however, a magazine from the officer’s stolen gun had fallen out of his pocket. Meef was then arrested and law enforcement allegedly found the officer’s gun and a second magazine belonging to the gun inside of the van.
Authorities then received a search warrant for the residence at 110 Raleigh St., however, Cullens was not home at the time. The search found part of the officer’s vest carrier, badge and knife, as well as another victim’s wallet and checks unrelated to the stolen police equipment; methamphetamine and marijuana.
On Jan. 3, investigators then received a second search warrant for a home at 1844 N. 5th St., a residence belonging to 52-year-old Richard Blevins, Salina. Authorities recovered another part of the ballistic vest carrier, a third magazine for the officer’s pistol, a taser holster and double magazine pouch. They also found a rifle from a Dec. 23 theft. Blevins was arrested at the scene and also allegedly had drugs in his possession.
The case finally concluded on Jan. 6 in Wichita, when Wichita Police arrested Cullens in a motel with alleged possession of drugs. He is wanted on numerous warrants out of Saline County unrelated to the incidents.
Meef is charged with possession of stolen firearm, possession of stolen property, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia, no drug tax stamp, unlawful drug proceeds, interference with a law enforcement officer and driving while suspended.
Blevins is charged with felon in possession of a firearm, possession of stolen firearm, possession of stolen property and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Cullens is charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft, two counts of possession of stolen property, two counts of theft of a firearm, two counts of distribution of a firearm to a felon, possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia; and attempted unlawful use of a financial card.
Saline County Sheriff Roger Soldan says his department continues to investigate the string of vehicle burglaries around the county.
ORIGINAL: (12-30) The Saline County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after numerous police equipment is stolen from the personal vehicle of a Salina Police Department officer.
Saline County Sheriff Roger Soldan tells KSAL News that the vehicle burglary occurred in the 100 block of W. Main St., Kipp, Kan., between 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and 3:20 a.m. Wednesday.
Someone entered the unlocked vehicle and stole a ballistic vest, a taser, body camera, portable radio, Glock .9mm hand gun, flashlight, SPD badge, 52 rounds of .9mm ammunition, OC spray and asp, emergency tourniquet and belt holder, black duty belt, a knife that’s black and blue in color that says “Police” on the blade, handcuff pouch and magazine pouch. All of the items are property of the Salina Police Department.
The vehicle is a personal vehicle owned by the SPD officer. It is not affiliated with the Salina Police Department.
Total loss is $5,036.
Meanwhile, two more unlocked vehicles were broken in to in Kipp overnight, as well as one parked in front of a rural Kipp residence. KSAL News will report more from the vehicle burglaries when information becomes available.