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RCPD sees rise in stolen vehicles, burglaries with out-of-town crowd for Stock Show

Published: Feb. 1, 2021 at 3:38 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - At least five vehicles and seven firearms were stolen after a surge of vehicle thefts over the weekend in Rapid City, police say.

The weekend’s numbers were “abnormally large,” according to Rapid City Police Department spokesperson Brendyn Medina. Several of the incidents involved “out-of-town residents” staying at hotels. A number of the victims said they were in Rapid City to attend the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo.

“We’re working with the BHSS to help spread the safety messaging during the event,” Medina told KOTA Territory News.

Medina also reminds gun owners to be more accountable for their firearms.

“Vehicles make terrible gun safes,” he said. “Never leave a firearm in an unlocked vehicle. Always lock your vehicle before leaving it unattended. Take valuable items inside, or conceal them if you must leave them in your vehicle.”

Of all the vehicles reported as stolen over the weekend, the keys were left in the vehicles, Medina said. Vehicle burglaries are difficult to investigate but simple to prevent by locking doors, he said.

A 37-year-old Rapid City man was arrested after allegedly attempting to break into two vehicles early Monday morning. However, all the vehicles he attempted to open were locked.

After the unsuccessful attempts, the man tried to steal a locked up bike from a rack around 2:50 a.m. on Feb. 1.

An RCPD detective observed the man, who was later identified as Joseph Birdshead, in an unmarked police car. After his third attempt to steal some transportation, the detective announced himself then detained Birdshead.

When searched, police found a marijuana pipe on Birdshead. He was placed under arrest for two Criminal Entry counts to a Motor Vehicle, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Theft before being transported to the Pennington County Jail.

Note: an SUV was stolen in the 800 Block on Alley B. The keys were left in the vehicle. Without the official address, it was not included on the map.

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