• Last modified 2345 days ago (Feb. 22, 2018)


County jail inmate back before dinner

Staff writer

Released after breakfast Valentine’s Day, a county jail inmate was back in time for dinner, and saddled with additional charges.

Shane Zerbe, 32, of Wichita, released at 10:27 a.m. Feb. 14, was back in jail less than four hours later.

Zerbe was arrested Feb. 10 by Peabody police on suspicion of burglary, possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, and criminal trespass, after allegedly trying to break into his mother’s house through a window in the 600 block of Sycamore St.

A $7,500 bond was set. Zerbe remained in jail until the morning of Valentine’s Day.

Upon being released, Zerbe started walking south toward Peabody. After walking approximately three miles, he stopped at a home on the west side of the road, and asked the residents of the home if they had a bicycle. After being denied two wheels upon request, Zerbe kept trekking and allegedly stole four from the next farmhouse he came to.

Donnie Hett, homeowner of a farmhouse in the 1400 block of Sunflower Rd., said it didn’t take him long to notice his white 2003 Chevrolet Silverado was missing.

“When I reported it missing, one of the first things I asked is if they had just let someone out of jail that morning, because I happened to see him walking down the road not long before that,” Hett said.

Peabody police were notified of the theft and responded to the home of Zerbe’s mother for the second time in a week.

At around 1:30 p.m., approximately three hours after Zerbe was released, his mother called police to notify them that Zerbe was there and asking to get his clothes. She told police she didn’t mind if he were only there long enough to get his clothes and nothing else, but wanted to wait for a police officer to be present. She then reported that he was attempting to break into her home again.

Zerbe was arrested shortly thereafter, but the stolen truck was not located. He was charged with attempted burglary, criminal trespassing, and theft of property, adding to charges he acquired the previous weekend.

Officers began driving circles, scouring the neighborhood for the stolen vehicle.

After a few minutes, it was located west of Elm St. and south of 8th St. in an alley.

“It took a couple of hours before I could get down there to pick it up,” said Hett. “They told me if I didn’t come to pick it up, it would be towed.”

Peabody police chief Bruce Burke confirmed Monday that it is against the rules for police officers to drive a vehicle that was stolen back to it’s owner after being recovered.

Zerbe remains in jail on a $25,000 bond.

Last modified Feb. 22, 2018