A Lincoln man is in custody in Iowa after a three day crime spree spanning several counties.
Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner said 31-year-old Michael Beard was arrested Saturday for multiple car thefts, burglaries and property damage.
It all started early in the morning on Thursday the Sept. 19. Wagner said Beard stole a Dodge Neon from the 4900 block of W. Huntington from a person he knew.
Later that morning, deputies responding to a garage fire near 80th and Agnew Road found the Neon inside the burning building. Wagner said there was a $20,000 loss to the building and the items inside.
Wagner said Beard must have ditched the car and moved on because a home was found burglarized nearby. Someone had kicked in the back door to a home and stole $10,000 worth of goods including jewelry and a Tacoma truck.
Saunders County deputies found the Tacoma at 10 a.m. Thursday crashed near County Road P and County Road 8 near Yutan. Almost all of the items stolen from the first burglary were found inside the abandoned truck.
That afternoon authorities discovered a burglary from a home about a mile from the crash site. Officials believe Beard kicked in the door to a home and stole $40,000 worth of jewelry and a van with Brase Electrical painted on the side.
Before the owner realized his van was stolen, a woman in Omaha called him to report one of his workers was trying to steal her car. Wagner said that man was Beard. Two people in Omaha reported seeing him and the van trying to steal more cars.
The van was found Friday morning abandoned near 61st and McKinley in Omaha.
Wagner said Beard stole another truck from that area. He was spotted at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Blair Friday afternoon by a park ranger. When the ranger approached, Beard took off. The ranger found a necklace from a previous burglary at the scene.
Around 4 p.m. Friday, several witnesses spotted Beard in Modale, Iowa trying to break in to more cars. Wagner said the owner confronted him and he tried to drive away again. But several other car owners jumped into their cars and boxed him in. Wagner said he jumped out and ran into a nearby cornfield.
Authorities surrounded the field, but couldn't find him Friday night because of heavy rain. Beard was found and arrested Saturday morning.
He is facing a number of charges including theft, burglary and destruction of property.