COLUMBUS — Trash dumped in a grove of trees, a stolen vehicle and tracks from a stolen four-wheeler provided the clues that led to the Sunday evening arrest of a 21-year-old Duncan man.

Morshawn Hawkins, who eluded Platte County Sheriff’s deputies for several days, was arrested on suspicion of theft, drug possession and littering in connection with the Nov. 14-15 thefts of a vehicle from outside a Duncan home and four-wheeler and motorcycle from a rural location 2 miles north of the community.

Hawkins was arrested on an outstanding warrant shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday after running from law enforcement authorities on multiple occasions in the last few days.

Platte County Court Judge Frank Skorupa set his bond Monday at $100,000, 10 percent allowed for release, and scheduled the defendant for a Nov. 29 felony first appearance hearing.

A sheriff’s office investigation got underway Nov. 14 with a report from a Duncan man that his vehicle had been stolen overnight from outside his home then parked near a grove of trees to the east of the residence, alongside a large pile of trash.

Deputy Justin Grant reported in his arrest statement that while going through discarded trash at the site he found mail and a vehicle registration addressed to a man living at another Duncan residence.

The deputy stated that a family member of Hawkins reported paying the defendant to haul a load of trash to the dump.

While he was sifting through the trash, the deputy wrote, an area man arrived to report that a motorcycle and four-wheeler, valued at approximately $10,000, were stolen during the night from his property north of town.

The area man left for about 20 minutes, Grant wrote in his statement, then returned to report that he followed the tracks from the four-wheeler to the same Duncan residence that appeared to be the source of the trash pile.

A search of the property where Hawkins lives uncovered a four-wheeler that had been spray-painted tan and a motorcycle in a garage, the deputy reported. The vehicle identification numbers matched those of the four-wheeler and motorcycle reported stolen, Grant wrote.

A search of Hawkins’ bedroom revealed meth, drug paraphernalia and other items believed to be stolen property, including wallets with Social Security and debit cards and computers not belonging to the defendant.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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