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Two Wichita men charged in theft of firearms from Sedgwick County sheriff’s vehicles

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, July 17, 2013, at 7:06 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, July 20, 2013, at 6:47 a.m.

Two Wichita men have been charged in the theft of firearms and other items from three Sedgwick County sheriff’s vehicles in June.

Charles Ted Murrow, 18, and Buddy Lee Wheelock, 21, on Wednesday were charged in Sedgwick County District Court with burglary, theft and criminal possession of a firearm in connection with the crime. The sheriff’s office earlier this month disclosed that three men entered the county fleet maintenance compound at South Seneca and Stillwell on June 29 and stole a semi-automatic Bushmaster M4 rifle, two Remington 870 shotguns and other law enforcement gear from three sheriff’s vehicles, including two that were marked.

Investigators with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday recovered one of the two stolen shotguns, a sheriff’s coat, ammunition, a flashlight and handcuffs, sheriff’s spokesman Lt. David Mattingly said Wednesday. The two other guns are still missing.

Mattingly would not release where the items were recovered because he said the investigation is ongoing.

Murrow and Wheelock were among four people arrested Saturday in connection with the burglary, Sedgwick County Jail booking records show. As of Wednesday, however, only they had been charged, district attorney spokesman Dan Dillon said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Both men remained in custody Wednesday evening. They are due back in court for their preliminary hearings July 31. Each has requested court-appointed counsel.

Murrow is being held in lieu of $25,000 bond. Wheelock’s bond is set at $25,000 on the burglary charges and $100,000 on a probation violation, according to jail records. The probation violation is linked to an aggravated battery conviction, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections; he was sentenced on that charge in May.

Jail records on Wednesday also showed one of the other men – a 21-year-old – was being held in lieu of $300,000 bond for violating the terms of his probation in a 2012 battery case but had been “release(d) without prejudice” on three counts of burglary in the recent arrest. The fourth person was not in custody when The Eagle checked jail records Wednesday afternoon. That person had been jailed on suspicion of possessing stolen property, according to booking records.

The sheriff’s office on Wednesday thanked the public for tips into the investigation and is still asking for the public’s help with any further information.

Tips can be sent to Crime Stoppers by calling 316-267-2111, by texting TIP 217 and a message to CRIMES (274637) or by going online at www.wsccs.com.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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