Sometimes a community’s eyes and ears are the key to solving a crime.

Such was the case in the arrest of a man accused of stealing or attempting to steal gas from three different places July 23.

“We were called at approximately 7 a.m.,” said Richfield City Police Chief Trent Lloyd. He said a resident was reporting a theft of gasoline from their vehicle. The gas cap had been removed and tossed to the side. 

Soon after, another call came into the department, about seeing someone acting suspicious in the same area as where the gas theft was reported. The suspect was reportedly seen walking into a yard and coming out with a gas can around 3 a.m.

Another gas theft, this one from a side-by-side OHV was also reported in the morning. 

“Sometimes you can get enough of the pieces to put it together,” Lloyd said. He said using a vehicle description and a partial license plate, officers were able to identify and track down Troy Simpson, 52, Salina. 

“They interviewed him and he admitted it,” Lloyd said. He said Simpson was cited for theft and released. 

Many times petty thefts go unsolved, but in this case enough people reported seeing things that police were able to put the case together, Lloyd said.

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