I currently write a column each Tuesday for the DeKalb
Daily Chronicle. The column will also appear on this website
each week and be added to the archives.
The Articles started December 2007.
If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates
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Crime does pay, at least at sheriffs
By Barry Schrader.................................November
Even though all guns and other weapons were banned from
the sale, Sycamore firefighter Dan Marcinkowski found a 20-inch
knife in a sheaf among the tools and won the bid for it.
The old saying Crime doesnt pay was not
so true on a recent Saturday in Sycamore as the DeKalb County
Sheriffs Office and other police agencies auctioned off
thousands of dollars in stolen property, mainly from a theft
ring that had been broken up in 2008 near Leland.
one bidder, Jim Justis of Genoa, put it: This is a mans
thing since very few women showed up that chilly morning
to bid on all the tools, fishing gear, heavy equipment, horse
trailers and lots of old vehicles.
brisk, and at the end of the day Chief Deputy Gary Dumdie said
the total take was $99,827. At least 200 people lined up to acquire
bid cards and I was among them. My sole purchase for the day
was a nine-foot surveyors pole; now someone tell me, what
can I use it for?
Auctioneers Josh Hickey (shown), Steve Hilleson and John Bearrows
sold nearly $100,000 in goods Oct. 22 at an auction held in Sycamore
by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office. (Photo ny Barry Schrader)
He told me later it was probably used for skinning
deer and planned to give it to his son. He also bought a nice
tool box for his truck.
Dumdie reported that stolen
goods brought some $27,800, which will be deposited in the countys
general fund. Fourteen slightly used squad cars went
for a total of $32,300 and the oldest clunker in the sale (from
Genoa) brought a measly $300, but you couldnt drive that
I was surprised to find some expensive
deep sea fishing equipment, including lures that are bigger than
some of the fish I caught as a kid in the Kish.
winning bid for a lot of reels was $400 and a bag of lures brought
$300. The best looking vehicle was a 2003 Chevy Tahoe, used by
Dumdie when he had a canine companion riding with him, which
sold for only $4,100.
But it did have 187,000
miles on it and Dumdie admitted to me it still probably had some
dog hair in the rear compartment.
A number of
fancy horse trailers, likely used by the theft ring to haul their
stolen goods to the farm hideout near Leland, went for bargain
prices. The top one sold for only $4,500.
Josh Hickey did have a word of warning up front for the bidders
though: Dont try to pass us a bad check. Despite
what you read in the papers there is still room in the jail.
So I paid cash for my surveyors pole, doling
out 10 golden presidential dollar coins.
last week I was privileged to spend a few hours following Pumpkin
Festival founder Wally Thurow around the courthouse lawn as he
admired each decorated pumpkin entry and took lots of digital
photos. Now an octogenarian, Wally has lived away from Sycamore
for many years in Slidell, La., but always comes back to boost
this event which has grown from just a dozen pumpkins in his
front yard to thousands of decorated entries in its 50th year.
He commented that he has begun his autobiography,
handwriting it one page at a time. But he hopes to find a ghostwriter,
an author who will help him polish it into the finished product.
Wouldnt it be great if we could see his book done in time
for the 51st festival next October?
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115