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Mineral man sentenced for thefts of junk vehicles

RELATED: See more crime news from the Fredericksburg region

Surveillance at a vacant property led to numerous charges that resulted in a sentence of more than three years in prison for a Louisa County man.

Joshua Allen Kober, 26, of Mineral was sentenced to 33 years in prison Thursday with all but three years and seven months suspended for stealing junk cars.

Kober pleaded guilty in May to several counts of selling stolen property, obtaining money by false pretenses, three counts of drug distribution and a probation violation.

The investigation started earlier this year when a family member called the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office to report that a few old junk cars were missing from the property of a relative who had died a few years earlier, according to Louisa Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire.

Detective Mark Stanton set up surveillance at the location and noticed a wrecker pull in and load up another one of the junk cars in the yard, McGuire said.

Stanton stopped the vehicle and arrested Kober at the scene. He was also identified as the person who stole the other junk cars that were missing, McGuire said.

Because of cases such as this, McGuire warned that foreclosures, relocations, vacations and even the death of a family member can create vacant properties that are a target for criminals.

“We are seeing a rise in thefts at vacant properties and we hope this case sends a message that you will be held accountable when you target vacant homes.”

Maj. Donnie Lowe of the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office recommends that citizens write down serial numbers of their valuable property, make sure neighbors are watching the house when they are not around and activate their home security systems when they are away.

He said two people with a pickup can easily steal an outdoor air-conditioning unit in just five minutes and sell it and other scrap metal for a few dollars at scrap yards, while costing the homeowner thousands of dollars to replace.

“Anyone that is going away for an extended period of time, even as short as one week, and owners of vacant properties should be aware and take precautionary measures,” McGuire said.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419

psmith@fredericksburg.com

 

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