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Wednesday night police beat: Two DUIs, two thefts and one wreckTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Shawn Reese
Courtesy Photo­Image
Cory Preitauer
Courtesy Photo­Image
Candace D. Zeigler

A North Platte man is back in jail after he was found driving drunk for a fifth time, and this time it was in a stolen pickup.  

Police spokesman Rodney Brown said around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, an officer on patrol saw a white Dodge Dakota with Dawson County plates and knew the pickup might have been stolen. 

As the officer followed, he saw the pickup cross the center line several times, so he pulled it over in the 1900 block of West A. The driver, Richard Smith, 57, got out and began to walk away.

The officer stopped Smith and detected signs of intoxication. When the officer tried to conduct a sobriety test, Smith refused to submit to any request. 

Smith was charged with driving under the influence, and it turned out to be his fifth DUI offense.  Smith was also charged with felony possession of stolen property, driving under suspension and refusal to submit to both a breath and chemical test. 

He was also cited for having an open container in the pickup.

Smith did a stint in jail earlier this year for driving under a suspended license coupled with unspecified traffic offenses. He served 52 days and was released April 3, according to sheriff’s records.

This time, his bond is set at $100,000.

It was a busy night for police.  

About the time Smith was arrested, at around 7:40 p.m. an officer went to Menard’s to check out a report of a man shoplifting. The store staff said Shawn Reese, 23, was cutting open some packaging, evidently trying to steal a butane lighter/torch along with fluid and an electric engraver. 

When police arrived, Reese tried to get out the back of the store but he was caught. The merchandise was found in the lumber department of the store.

The officer charged Reese with attempted theft by shoplifting and criminal mischief. He was taken to the Lincoln County jail, where a check of his record showed he was also wanted for two other felonies.

Reese served 104 days in the county jail in 2013 for his role in the burglary of ABC Auto Salvage in March. Sheriff’s deputies said Reese and Stephen Marquez stole items from the salvage yard, working from 3:30-6:30 a.m., using trucks belonging to the business to shuttle batteries, tires and metals to their truck parked outside the fence.

Reese served 104 days on that charge. He was released in November.

Prior to that, Reese served nearly seven months in the state prison system for burglary. He was released on Jan. 29, 2013.



Just after midnight, police went to the 1400 block of East Sixth to check out a reported one-vehicle rollover that turned into a DUI investigation.

When officers arrived, the believed the driver of the 2012 Chevy Malibu, Cory Preitauer, 24, was under the influence of alcohol. 

Police spokesman Rodney Brown said the Malibu was northbound on McCabe when Preitauer tried to turn left onto East Sixth. The Malibu left the right side of the road and its front left corner clipped a guy wire alongside a utility pole, causing the Chevy to roll.

The car came to rest on its top. 

Preitauer and an adult passenger were both wearing seatbelts and did not report any injuries. Even though the Malibu was totaled, the guy wire only sustained around $500 in damage, Brown said.

Police started conducting a DUI investigation. Preitauer’s mother Candace Zeigler arrived, became upset and caused a disturbance, Brown said. She threatened the passenger.

Zeigler was arrested, charged with obstructing a police officer by dissuading a witness. Her bond was set at $5,000.

Preitauer was charged with second offense DUI and taken to the Lincoln County jail. His bond is $7,500.  

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 5/15/2014
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