Trash-can caper lifts lid off alleged theft
investigation, Erickson said. The girlfriend turned over the trash-can lid and agreed to allow officers to enter the residence.
Once inside, the officers saw some of the results of Buckley's alleged activities, Erickson said. They recovered a few more items reported stolen in De Soto but noticed much more material.
After reviewing stolen property reports, detectives returned to the house with a The alleged theft of a trash-can lid led to the arrest of a 39-year-old De Soto man and the recovery of more than $32,000 of stolen materials, mostly taken from residential construction sites in De Soto, neighboring Johnson County cities, and Eudora.
Robert Lee Buckley Jr. was arrested and charged Sept. 9 with 19 counts of burglary and theft. He remains in Johnson County Jail with a bond of $30,000.
Johnson County Sheriff's Department spokesman Tim Erickson said Buckley was alleged to have stolen more than $32,000 in Johnson and Douglas counties, but the four-month investigation that led to his arrest started when he and his as-yet unidentified girlfriend attempted to steal a trash can lid.
That attempt was caught on the video surveillance tapes of Mike's Liquor Store. Erickson said the store's owner was able to get a license plate number from the tape, which an employee later saw in De Soto.
That led Sheriff's Department officers to the De Soto home Buckley shared with his girlfriend, whose name has not been released pending furthe search warrant in July. They recovered several thousand dollars worth of items reported stolen while discovering additional caches of suspect goods. That led to the execution of two more search warrants before Buckley's arrest.
The investigation and arrest cleared eight sheriff's department cases and one each from the Lexena, Shawnee and Eudora police departments.
Much of the recovered material was reported stolen from residential construction sites, but also included items taken from homes and commercial sites, Erickson said. It included toilet paper holders, door knobs, light fixtures, screw drivers, commercial paint sprayer, power and hand tools, household appliances, windows, doors, and a pool cue.
"A lot was from construction sites," he said. "A lot was from vehicles that were left on site overnight
"We still have some property we'd like to get back to its rightful owner if we knew who it was."
Those suspecting they have items among the recovered material can contact the Johnson County Sheriff's office at (913) 791-5500, Erickson said.
"We still have some property we'd like to get back to its rightful owner if we knew who it was," he said.
Buckley has a scheduled preliminary hearing in Johnson County District Court at 1:30 p.m. Oct 17.
Erickson said detectives didn't yet know what Buckley was doing with the allegedly stolen material. That aspect of the case remained under investigation, Erickson said.