UPDATE: ACPD arrests suspect Friday in four vehicle burglaries, thefts

Mike Seals - May 10, 2021 11:30 pm

Jester also arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, firearm


ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (May 10, 2021) — The Arkansas City Police Department has identified and arrested a suspect in a recent rash of vehicle burglaries and thefts throughout the Arkansas City area.

Jonathan Eugene Jester, 34, of Wichita, was arrested Friday on suspicion of four felony counts of burglary of a motor vehicle, as well as one felony count each of criminal possession of a firearm by a felon, interference with a law enforcement officer, possession of stolen property, and theft of a motor vehicle valued between $1,000 and $25,000. He also was arrested on suspicion of four misdemeanor counts of theft and one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass.

Jester was transported to the Cowley County Jail in Winfield in lieu of $19,750 bond through Cowley County District Court in Arkansas City. He remained in custody at the time of this release.

“This crime spree spanned all four patrol shifts, with more than 20 reports of vehicle burglary, trespassing and vehicle theft,” said Interim Police Chief Eric Burr. “Property crimes such as these are difficult to solve, with little to no physical evidence from which to work. Our investigations team worked in tandem with patrol officers and neighboring jurisdictions to put us in a position to make an arrest in these cases. We would like to offer many thanks to the Wellington Police Department for its assistance!”

Officers located Jester, who they had identified as a suspect in the recent vehicle crime spree, at 1:50 p.m. Friday. Following a short foot pursuit, he was taken into custody without further incident.

During that pursuit, Jester allegedly threw away a firearm and backpack, which were recovered later.

Jester was brought back to the Arkansas City Police Department and questioned about the recent crimes. Through the course of this investigation, information was gathered that cleared many cases.

While some cases are still active investigations, additional information was gathered that might help to clear them and police still are seeking addition suspects in connection.

“While the investigation is ongoing, with more arrests imminent, I could not be more proud of the effort, attitude and actions taken by the staff at ACPD to bring this crime spree to a successful end,” Burr said.

“I would like to reiterate that to avoid being a victim of a vehicle crime, please take the time to remove your keys from the ignition of your cars, hide or remove any valuables, and lock the doors.”

Investigation background

The theft investigation began when an Arkansas City resident reported their vehicle as stolen early Thursday morning. With the assistance of OnStar, the vehicle was disabled, located and recovered.

While that vehicle was being recovered, several other citizens began to discover they also had been the victim of burglaries involving their unlocked motor vehicles. Efforts apparently were made in many of these incidents to steal the vehicles and damage to their steering columns was present.

Additionally, another vehicle was stolen, wrecked and left abandoned a couple blocks away from where it had been taken. The suspect then entered a vacant residence.

On Thursday afternoon, a vehicle stolen from Sumner County was located behind a local hotel.

The same suspects responsible for that particular vehicle theft also are thought to be responsible for a rash of break-ins that occurred Wednesday in Sumner County. The same suspects are thought to have traveled to the Arkansas City area, where they again participated in numerous break-ins and thefts.

Anyone with information about these incidents is encouraged to contact Detective Sgt. Travis Stroud or Detective Corey Combs at the Arkansas City Police Department at (620) 441-4444.

Those wishing to remain anonymous also may contact Cowley County Crime Stoppers, which offers rewards of up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest, by calling (620) 442-7777 in Arkansas City or (620) 221-7777 in Winfield.

Additionally, the Arkansas City Police Department now offers the ability to “Submit a Tip” anonymously on its website at www.arkcity.org/police/webform/submit-tip.

Tips also can be submitted anonymously by texting COWLEYTIPS to TIP411 (847411).


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