A George man is in jail after police say he was found in possession of stolen property near Quincy on Monday (Nov. 20) night.

Deputies with the Grant County Sheriff's Office pulled over a pickup truck pulling a large propane tank on a trailer with non-working tail lights in the area of Road 3 Northwest and Road O Northwest at around 11:30 p.m.

Sheriff's Chief Deputy Josh Sainsbury says an investigation ensued when deputies noticed the tank's hose line had been freshly cut and the driver, 59-year-old Leonard Knigge, was unable to provide any specifics about why he was hauling the tank.

"Other deputies arrived and they began looking around a potato shed nearby and located tire marks that matched the man's truck in mud. Deputies at the traffic stop also noticed that Mr. Knigge had mud on his boots. They called the owner of the potato shed and he verified he was missing a trailer and a large propane tank. He then came to the traffic stop and identified the trailer and tank as the one's Mr. Knigge was pulling."

Knigge was arrested on theft charges and booked into the Grant County Jail. His truck was also seized as evidence.

The trailer and propane tank were documented and photographed for evidence and then returned to the owner.

Sainsbury says the arrest was the result of proactive patrols in the area due to a recent increase in theft.

"We have a lot of rural agricultural theft going on right now in the Quincy and George area. A lot of it has been circle wire. There's a lot of copper in circle wire, so thieves strip the wire and cut it down and take it to scrap metal facilities in exchange for money. But thieves will steal anything that isn't bolted down that they can sell for quick cash."

Sainsbury says Knigge's arrest was the first to be netted by the increased patrols.

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