Burglary and auto theft at Philip auto business
A pickup stolen from a local body shop was taken for a joy ride in the early morning hours of Thursday, August 24. Les’ Body Shop in Philip was burglarized between 12:30 and 1:45 a.m., according to law enforcement officials.
It was reported that someone was driving recklessly and squealing their tires. Black tire marks can still be seen in different areas of Philip.
Philip police officer David Butler was driving by Les’ Body Shop and noticed an open overhead door. He contacted Mike Noteboom, the shop owner, about the possibility of having accidentally left the door open. When Noteboom arrived, he discovered the damage and that one of the business’ pickups was missing. Noteboom phoned the authorities. Butler and Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Foley responded to the call.
The walk-in door had been kicked open. The lock/latch area was split and the door had to be replaced. Sheriff Larry Hanes found the stolen pickup at 4:15 a.m. at the Bad River Park amongst the trees. The pickup was out of gas and had some minor damage. The oil had just been changed and the odometer recorded, thus it was determined that the pickup had been driven 74 miles before it was abandoned. The pickup had new tires, but they were worn so badly that they had to be replaced.
Other items that had been stolen included an expensive radio, some tools which included an air tool, and a quantity of electronic equipment from a customer’s vehicle.
The officers took fingerprints, and photographs were taken of shoe prints on the floor; seemingly the same prints as on the kicked-in door and in the pickup.
At 2:30 p.m., one suspect turned himself in. The suspect is not a minor, though the name was not released due to the ongoing investigation. Most of the stolen items have been returned. Alcohol may have been involved and it is believed that there are two, if not three, suspects.
The Philip City Police and the Haakon County Sheriff’s Department are working together on the investigation, and more evidence is being gathered before an arrest warrant is issued.