JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Jefferson City Police Department official credited public help in catching a Westphalia man accused of stealing construction equipment from two work sites and having illegal animal pelts.
Osage County deputies arrested Drew G. Buersmeyer, 34 of Westphalia, Missouri, on Tuesday after search his residence. He is being held without bond in the Cole County Jail.
Among the stolen items authorities linked to Buersmeyer were a dump truck and a backhoe. The truck was stolen from the construction site of the new Capital City High School and the backhoe was taken from the site of a new Jefferson City fire station.
Both S&A Equipment & Builders, a contractor at the fire station work site, and the owner of a trailer recovered by authorities during the investigation received their property Thursday afternoon.
An operator with S&A Equipment & Builders told ABC 17 News that Buersmeyer used the key from another machine to haul the backhoe out on a trailer that was also stolen from a neighboring lot.
Lt. David Williams with the Jefferson City Police Department said in a news release that the investigation led to Buersmeyer's arrest when a 1998 Chevrolet dump truck was stolen from the Capital City High School construction site Sunday along with a Honda generator and several 5-gallon gas cans.
The value of the dump truck was estimated at about $40,000, while the generator and gas cans were worth about $950.
Williams said police received tips after information about the thefts was posted Sunday on social media.
"We received messages on our social media accounts," Williams said. "We also got direct calls to the police department. We had friends of friends calling to make sure that we were aware of this odd situation."
Buersmeyer has additional cases open against him. He appeared in Cole County court Thursday morning and is scheduled to be back Sept. 20.
Police officials said the arrest hinged on cooperation with other law enforcement agencies and the public.
"We have a good support system from our community and this is another incident where we had a lot of information given to us from various members of the community," Williams said.