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      1-17-07  
   
Burglary interrupted at Tracy
by Stacy Wiedmaier
Landmark reporter

Multiple thieves attempted to burglarize Classic Auto Sales last Wednesday night in Tracy.

Around 8:30 p.m. the suspects were caught in the act when Hank Martens, a salesman and brother of owner Tom Martens, noticed the outdoor lights were turned off and decided to inspect the business.

The Platte County Sheriff’s Department assisted Tracy police in the burglary.

“They were interrupted, so they didn’t get away with anything, but that didn’t stop them,” said Capt. Frank Hunter of the sheriff's department. “They headed west on Hwy. 92 and proceeded to attempt robbing a similar business in Leavenworth.”

Two black males, and possibly a third, were spotted at the scene. They allegedly entered the building through a small window. According to Beth Taulbee, a Tracy police officer, the black males used two vehicles at the crime scene. One vehicle was already loaded with merchandise such as tire rims, a plasma television, computers, and air conditioners. When Martens walked in on them, they fled on foot.

“There were at least two males and possibly three,” Taulbee said. “One of the men was observed by the witness to have a silver hand gun, which the suspect dropped and then retrieved. The perimeter of the business was surrounded by county officers and highway patrol that conducted a building search and found nothing.”

There is no damage estimate, but the suspects vandalized three separate buildings at the Tracy business. They broke into one, opened the garage of another, and tried to pry open a window of the third structure. When the suspects were discovered by Martens, one man exited through a plate glass window in the front of the business.

Fingerprints were found at the scene and the suspects were seen trying to burglarize another business nearby in Leavenworth. One person of interest was arrested in Leavenworth, and presumably has ties to the Tracy break-in.