Sarpy County deputies arrest man accused of multiple car thefts at auto auction
SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) - For months investigators have been focused on an unusual car theft case in Sarpy County.
It involved at least one suspect returning to the scene of the crime to steal more. Technology and determined detectives cracked the case.
A totaled vehicle doesn’t mean totally won’t run, so the insurance auto auction near Springfield has been the target of multiple thefts.
“They are using vehicles that are taken to actually drive through the fence in order to drive the other cars through there as well,” said Sgt. Blake Raughton with the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office.
A dozen or more vehicles have been stolen in recent months, usually driven across surrounding farm fields to alleys and garages in parts of Omaha.
”A lot of the vehicles that are taken have pretty decent monetary value, as far as breaking down different parts of the vehicle, what most people call chopping up a car.”
Bulletins to be on the lookout led several agencies to recover many of the stolen vehicles. So a Douglas County crime scene investigator is called in to gather evidence from trace DNA to fingerprints.
Prints were lifted from items found in the trash. They can be used to find matches with any collected from various recovered stolen vehicles.
“Porous items like paper and cardboard, those are fairly easy surfaces to get prints from because we use a chemical reagent,” said lead fingerprint examiner Josh Connelly with the Douglas County Crime Lab.
Connelly says prints are put into a database that searches for anyone who has been printed before.
”So we will encode that print, we will launch it and do its search and then it gives us the 30 top closest matches. It’s still always going to be up to an examiner to confirm yes that’s that person.“
But solving the serial auto theft case required stakeouts with a Sarpy County investigator working the graveyard shift. That surveillance led to the identification of a suspect.
‘’It’s incredibly unusual for a suspect to return to one location over multiple months, multiple days and steal multiple cars,” said Lt. Greg Monico with the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office.
Dallas Waters, Sr, 41, has been arrested in connection with the theft of multiple vehicles from the insurance auto auction.
Sarpy County warrant deputies took Waters into custody at an Omaha house after finding him in the attic.
Waters faces numerous charges for the vehicle thefts and the investigation continues into identifying accomplices. The manager of the insurance auto auction declined to comment on the case.
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