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Weekend police beat: Thefts, methTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Gregory S. Murdie
Courtesy Photo­Image
Chelbi L. Karnik
Courtesy Photo­Image
Marcos T. Escarsega
Courtesy Photo­Image
Roxanne S. Duran

The fates were against alleged alleged bicycle thief and meth user Gregory Murdie on Friday, when Murdie was found by an off-duty police officer.

Around 10 a.m. Friday, police went to to Cycle Sport at 413 E. Fifth to check out a reported stolen bicycle. 

It so happened that an off-duty police investigator was at the shop when Gregory Murdie, 41, rode in on an Ironhorse Warrior 1.3 mountain bicycle that was reported stolen a week earlier. Police spokesman Rodney Brown said that during the early morning hours of July 12, an Illinois family staying at the Knights Inn, 501 Halligan, reported the bike was stolen.

The family was on their way to a vacation in Colorado.

Unfortunately for Murdie, the off-duty officer who was at the bike shop also took the theft complaint at the motel.

Murdie was also found to have a clear, self-sealing baggie containing a white powder residue and a straw that are common in drug use. The substance was field-tested and appeared to be methamphetamine, according to the police report.  

Murdie was subsequently charged with felony possession of meth and jailed. The bicycle was identified as the bike that the Illinois family said was stolen, and they got it back on their return trip, Brown said. 

The investigation into the theft, and Murdie’s role in it, is ongoing, Brown said. Murdie is held on a $10,000 bond.


Suspect linked to stolen laptop

On Friday, police rounded up a woman who was wanted for methamphetamine possession in a case that began in early February.

It started around 10:10 p.m. on Feb. 4, when a police officer stopped a blue Dodge Neon near B and Jeffers that did not have license plates. The driver was Chelbi Karnik, 27.  According to the police report, used syringes common with narcotic use were inside the car. The fluid inside one syringe was sent to the Nebraska State Patrol Criminal Lab for testing. 

The test results finally returned June 19, confirming the presence of methamphetamine.

Karnik was on the wanted list until Friday, when police got a break in the investigation. They received a theft complaint from a 49-year-old woman who said a new laptop valued at around $225 was stolen from her home in the 600 block of E. 12th.  Investigators found out that the stolen laptop had been returned to Wal-Mart, where it was originally purchased. 

Police identified Karnik as a woman with the laptop at Wal-Mart from in-store surveillance cameras.

Brown said they found Karnik several hours later driving in the area of Buffalo and Rodeo Rd. and pulled her over.

Karnik was charged with possession of methamphetamine and syringes, driving under a revoked license and theft by deception. Her bond was set at $10,000.

A passenger in Karnik’s car -- Elisha Horn, 34 -- was charged with theft by unlawful taking. Police believe she initially stole the laptop while staying with the victim.



Another meth charge was pressed Saturday, after test results finally returned from the state crime laboratory.

Roxanne Duran, 39, was arrested at a home in the 800 block of E. Sixth. She was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance.

The case stemmed from a March 2 search of a home in the 2400 block of West Ninth, Brown said.

Officers had gone to that home after receiving information about suspected drug activity. At the time, Duran was found with a glass pipe and multiple small, self-sealing plastic bags containing white powder residue. The white powder tested positive for meth at the Nebraska State Patrol crime lab. 

Duran was processed at the Lincoln County jail and released.



Around 5:15 p.m. Saturday, an officer went to Gary’s Super Foods, 1620 E. Fourth, to check out a reported shoplifting. The store staff said they believed a man and woman stole some meat earlier.

An in-store video pegged Marcos Escarsega, 29, as a suspect. The officer found Escarsega at a home in the 500 block of  E. 11th, at which time he was charged with shoplifting. The charge was enhanced to a felony because he had prior convictions.

Escarsega was processed and released at the Lincoln County jail. 

Police found the woman, Cindy Grass, 54, on Sunday and cited her for misdemeanor theft by shoplifting.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 7/21/2014
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