BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Local authorities are investigating a missing firearm that was taken from a stolen vehicle last week.
According to Police Chief Tim Sittig, a vehicle was stolen in Lee County in the area of Denmark and Augusta and was recovered in Fort Madison Friday.
“When we were able to get a hold of the owner he informed us that a firearm was missing from the vehicle,” Sittig said.
Since the theft occurred in the county, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident as well.
Investigator Chad Donaldson wouldn’t comment on what type of firearm it was because of the on-going investigation.
The vehicle in question was stolen as part of what Sittig and Donaldson believe to be a group of younger drivers taking cars on joy rides and then dumping them.
“There definitely seems to be a link between all the vehicles,” Donaldson said. “I can’t really speak for Fort Madison PD, but as far as I know, all the vehicles have been recovered.”
Fort Madison received several reports of cars being stolen over night last week. Donaldson said the county had just the one report, but because of where the vehicle was discovered and the locations of the other thefts, investigators believe the thefts are related.
Sittig said he doesn’t believe there is any threat to the public as stolen firearms are typically sold, used to pay off debt or pay for drugs.
“It could be anywhere at this point, Chicago…St. Louis…. Iowa City. It’s in the NCIC system so if it was at a pawn and they check it or someone makes a stop and they run the number it would pop up,” Sittig said.
He also said investigators are still pursuing leads in the case and if anyone has information or sees something concerning the case, they are asked to call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office or the Fort Madison Police Department.