LPD: Woman driving stolen truck tries using bad check for gas; meth and syringes found

Kendra Barnts
Kendra Barnts(Lincoln Police Department)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 12:30 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A woman is facing a number of charges after officers with the Lincoln Police Department say she tried using a bad check to get gas for a stolen truck.

On Tuesday, just after noon, officers were dispatched to a fraud in progress at the Hy-Vee gas station off 52nd and O Streets.

LPD said the 911 caller explained that a woman in a blue pickup truck was trying to write a bad check for gas and was parked at the gas pumps.

Officers said when responding officers arrived, the spoke with the woman in a blue 2009 Chevy Silverado who gave officers a fake name.

According to police, while they were working to determine her identity, the woman put the keys in the ignition and attempted to drive away.

LPD said officers told her several times to stop, however, she started the truck and put it in gear.

Police said officers had to remove the woman from the truck and she resisted officers for several minutes before being taken into custody.

Officers were then able to identify the woman as 24-year-old Kendra Barnts, who was wanted on three outstanding warrants.

LPD said one of the warrants was felony possession of a controlled substance out of Gage County.

Inside Barnts’ purse, officers said they found a number of syringes and bags with residue inside.

Police said they then learned Barnts had been to the same gas station on July 23 around 3 p.m. and wrote three checks on two different accounts to pay for gas for two different cars, as well as purchase food. LPD said the owners of the accounts were contacted and reported that the woman did not have permission to write checks on the accounts and the checks must have been stolen as the accounts had been closed.

LPD said employees recognized Barnts when she tried passing another check on Tuesday and called police.

The forged checks were written for a total around $500 to Hy-Vee, according to police.

Officers said they found a checkbook belonging to one of the victims in the truck and police ran the VIN on the truck because there were no license plates.

LPD reached out to the owners and they reported the truck had been stolen from their farm in Wood River.

The truck was towed to be turned over to the owners.

While officers processed the truck, officers said within Barnts’ belongings, they found more drug paraphernalia including syringes, spoons and bags with drug residue. Inside one bag there was 0.6 grams of methamphetamine and a spoon with dark brown residue which tested positive for opioids, according to police.

Officers said they also recovered other items that are believed to be stolen.

Barnts was arrested and is facing theft by deception charges, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, obstructing a police officer, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia and three outstanding warrants.

LPD said investigators will continue working to identify the property in the truck and more charges are possible.

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