Alliance man charged in 2017 break-in at Scottsbluff-area trucking co.

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SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (KNEP) - A 50-year-old Alliance man has been accused of breaking into a Scottsbluff-area trucking company just days before Christmas last year and stealing thousands of dollars in tools.

Scotts Bluff County prosecutors filed a charge of felony burglary against Anthony Woodard January 24 following investigation of the break-in Dec. 22, 2017 at Buskirk Trucking just west of Scottsbluff.

According to court documents, Sheriff’s deputies were called to the business after two employees arriving at work found a door to the shop building unlocked and a variety of tools missing, including diagnostic scan tools, a filter wrench set, socket sets and air tools. Several of the tools had been inscribed with the symbols “>u”.

During the course of the investigation, authorities learned that Woodard had been a prior employee of the trucking company, had been issued a key to the building while working there, and that one of the owners said it appeared whoever broke in was aware of the building layout and location of tools.

Court records say investigators were later able to match tire tracks left at the scene to Woodard’s van, which had been impounded Dec. 31 after Scottsbluff Police investigated a suspicious vehicle report and arrested Woodard on active warrants out of Box Butte County. A January 4 search of the vehicle did not yield any of the stolen items, but uncovered a pair of boots, the soles of which appeared to investigators to match footprints left at the trucking company.

A trucking company employee contacted authorities January 11, saying he believed a set of filter wrenches he purchased from Woodard were from the trucking company. The arrest affidavit says the following day, investigators executing a search warrant at a Gering residence in an unrelated case observed several tools in an attached shed and in the resident’s pickup that matched the description of those taken in the burglary.

Photos of those tools were later shown to the trucking company owner and two employees, who identified the items and pointed out those bearing a “>u” symbol. Court documents say a second search warrant on the Gering residence was executed January 14, during which the tools were seized and the resident, Kathy A. Seckinger, taken into custody. During an interview, Seckinger allegedly told investigators Woodard had dropped the tools at her home about two weeks earlier after being kicked out of his Alliance apartment, but she denied knowing the tools had been stolen. Seckinger is facing a charge of receiving stolen goods $1,500 to $5,000, as well as a charge of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver for the discovery of approx. 6 grams of methamphetamine found during the execution of the second search warrant. Her case has been bound over to Scotts Bluff County District court for arraignment on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.

Woodard is in the Box Butte County Jail, serving a one-year sentence on an amended misdemeanor charge of attempt of a class 4 felony.