Small Town News
Theft from Moenning Meats, LLC in Dodge Center
Around two weeks ago Cathy and Paul Moenning, owners of Moenning Meats, LLC, were upset to find their trailer broken into and missing an estimated 480 pounds of pork.
The trailer, which was parked outside of the family's home in Dodge Center, hosts two commercial freezers and was secured with a lock. The family did not have security cameras in place at the time and no one is believed to have witnessed the crime.
The Moenning s are not sure exactly when the burglary took place because they were out and about frequently during the week due to the Dodge County 4-H Exchange Project. The family came home to find the trailer's doors tampered with and the lock cut off.
The 480 pounds of pork had a retail value of about $2,000, with an additional $900 of damage to the trailer.
"With any theft you have the violation of privacy and loss of trust. We don't want that in our neighborhood. We have little kids, elderly with their pets," Cathy said. "We have to be able to pay our bills; we have to pay for the hogs (and) the processing."
Dodge County Investigator Bob Morris says that, at this time, the department has no leads. "At this point we have nothing to go on, no other evidence. The lock was removed from the scene and taken in for evidence," he said.
Cathy added the family will add appropriate security upgrades to ensure this doesn't happen again. This was the first time the family had experienced a theft from the trailer.
The Moennings are offering a $100 reward in homegrown meat to anyone who calls the family or the sheriff's department with a tip that ultimately leads to the arrest and conviction of the thief or thieves.
According to Dispatch Supervisor Mike Burton, from June 1, 2015 through Aug. 10 the Dodge County Sheriff's Office had 18 burglary calls. Last year from June 1 through Sept. 30 the Department received 20, with a year total of 62.
Morris says the department is staying very busy. He added that burglaries don't only happen in the assumed rural areas, but busy areas, as well.
"People naturally think it is going to be some out-of-the-way place, but sometimes it is the obvious places and people assume nobody is going to burglarize a house in the city where it is busy, but that is the best cover there is," Morris said.
Morris cautions homeowners to be aware of suspicious people posing as carpet cleaners, movers or other "companies" trying to provide a service.
"(The) only advice we can give to people is to be vigilant. Keep an eye on your neighbors and, if you notice anything that is going on that doesn't look right or anybody you don't recognize, it never hurts to stop and call the Dodge County Sheriff's Office with some questions," he said. "We would rather be proactive and check something out that is nothing than to have people look the other way and assume it is not their business, to find out later that it was in fact something going on."
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