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Wave of break-ins and car thefts target area teachers |  News

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Wave of break-ins and car thefts target area teachers | News

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LEE’S SUMMIT, MO (KCTV) – As if teachers don’t have enough time these days, a thief is targeting Missouri school parking lots and traveling the country to do it. Local law enforcement has identified three teacher victims and wants to hear from any school staff who recently had their car broken into and their purse or wallet stolen.

“It’s deplorable,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe. “Teachers have been through an awful lot over the past two years, and of all the people to be taken advantage of, it’s pretty despicable.”

The case unfolded when troopers pulled over a man on I-70 in Lafayette County around 1 p.m. Tuesday for a traffic violation. Lowe said the officer discovered the driver had a Nebraska warrant for “unauthorized use of a vehicle”, and the officer’s subsequent search of the car raised suspicion.

“He saw a lot of receipts, a lot of gift cards. There was a wallet in the vehicle that didn’t belong to him,” Lowe explained.

Gift cards have serial numbers that can be traced back to the credit card used to purchase them. Lowe said the first ones they found all went to teachers whose cars had been broken into at school. These robberies took place in Savannah, Missouri, Pleasant Hill, Missouri and one city in Minnesota.

On Wednesday, the MSHP posted information about the crimes on Twitter. Within hours they heard of a teacher in Excelsior Springs, another in Lee’s Summit and the Iowa State Patrol, whose officers said several teachers in that state had been affected. .

Investigators have yet to determine if the specific crimes they just heard about are linked to the same man, but they have reason to believe there are many more victims than the three they linked with. certainty so far.

“There were 27 other gift cards in there, so with that many gift cards, there must be other victims associated with him,” Lowe claimed.

Aloysius Schrom, 59, of Minnesota, is currently charged in Lafayette County, Missouri, with one felony count of theft. Minnesota online court records show he was convicted there in 2019 of fraudulent use of a “financial transaction card”. The Minnesota Department of Corrections website shows he was placed on post-release supervision on December 27, 2021, which was to continue until March 25, 2023.

The MSHP wants to hear from anyone who has had a car broken into at school recently.

“We want to make sure we’re diligent about finding all the victims we can and connecting the dots,” Lowe said.

You can contact an investigator by dialing 816-622-0800 and asking for the heading. Handsome Ryan.

As more evidence is collected, more charges could come from other counties and other states.

As for why schools were the target, Lowe said it just seemed like a crime of opportunity: a large parking lot where everyone is inside at certain times of the day.

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