Police hope to question juveniles in park robbery

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Merriam police picked up a person of interest in an aggravated robbery that occurred on the Gardner Greenway in August. Gardner Police are still seeking two persons of interest and are in the process of questioning the person Merriam police picked up on Sept. 8.
Witnesses identified three juveniles, who are wanted for walking away from the Johnson County juvenile detention center in Olathe.
At about 8 a.m. on Aug. 16, a 60-year-old Gardner man was walking on the greenway. He noticed three teenagers sitting on a bench on the trail and continued walking past the teens, but didn’t get very far. The Gardner man was hit in the back of the head with what he described as a brown, broken wood, tree limb. When he came to, he was on the ground, surrounded by the teens who demanded the keys to his car.
Gardner Police do not have enough evidence to issue arrest warrants for the teens, however, there are warrants out for the trio for escaping from juvenile custody.
Gardner Police Chief Jim Pruetting said it appeared the teens may have been camping near the Gardner Greenway, but he believes they have since left the area. When they attempted to rob the man on the greenway, they were seeking his car keys and transportation.
Following the robbery attempt, Pruetting said police did surveillance at the park, and there were no further signs of potential campers there.
Pruetting said one of the three has ties to Gardner, but the teen’s family has not had contact with him.
“This was an aggravated robbery and this is an active investigation,” Pruetting said. “We are actively looking for them.”

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