At 3:45 a.m. Friday a citizen came to the Parsons Police Department to report someone breaking into his or her vehicle. It was reported that the witness was able to follow the suspects and gather a vehicle description and a tag number. Officers, using that information, discovered the tag belonged to a stolen 2011 Toyota Camry from Independence.
Sgt. Brice Dickens responded to the area of the burglary on Appleton and continued his search for the Camry and suspects. Sgt. Dickens found the stolen Camry at Mendota Creek Apartments and found two individuals in the stolen vehicle. He detained the driver and the other occupant ran off. Dickens learned that the suspect who ran may be armed with a handgun.
Officers searched for the man that had been identified as Nathan Wiebelhaus, 25, of Independence. Officers found him on 23rd Street and arrested him. The weapon, a .380-caliber pistol, was found during a search of the Camry, along with drugs and paraphernalia.
The driver, Joseph Ruttgen, 18, of Parsons and Wiebelhaus were arrested and transported to the Parsons Police Department. Charges have been sent to the Labette County Attorney’s Office for possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of stolen property, interference with law enforcement and criminal possession of a firearm by a felon. Wiebelhaus was charged in 2013 for a series of burglaries in Edna, Mound Valley and Bartlett.
Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks said, “I can not express my extreme appreciation of the work these officers (have) shown. Being vigilant and tenacious at their jobs is what brought these criminals to justice. The helping hands of the citizens and their watchful eyes made their jobs successful and ended in the apprehension of two criminals. The department is proud of these officers and their dedication to duty.”