stolen artwork

Gary Halsey has upgraded his home security after his pickup, trailer and about 60 pieces of woodwork art he created were stolen from outside his home in the 2400 block of North Dewalt Drive south of Festus. The pickup has been recovered, but the trailer, which was valued at $6,500, and the artwork, which was worth about $10,000, were still missing, Halsey said Oct. 22.

“I have been here for 35 years and never had anything stolen,” Halsey said. “It is a dead-end road that no one comes down. I have now put deadbolts on my doors and Ring cameras up. I never locked the doors before. I went from sleeping with the doors open to having cameras up.”

Halsey said he left his 2018 Ford F-150 unlocked with the keys inside it and a trailer containing his art outside his home after returning from an art show. The pickup, trailer and art were stolen between about 5:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. Oct. 14, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The Sheriff’s Office recovered the pickup at about 9 a.m. Oct. 15 in the 9700 block of Round Table Court east of Hillsboro. Deputies were called to the area after several residents called about items being stolen from their vehicles in the area, spokesman Grant Bissell said.

When a deputy arrived, he saw the stolen pickup and found a 28-year-old Bloomsdale woman asleep in the driver’s seat. The woman ignored the deputy as he tried to wake her up, and he eventually had to pull her out of the pickup and then arrested her after determining the pickup was stolen, the report said.

The deputy also allegedly found numerous stolen items and drug paraphernalia in the pickup. In addition, the woman was wanted on warrants from other law enforcement agencies, according to the report.

She was taken to Jefferson County Jail, where she was held for the other agencies. The Sheriff’s Office will seek charges against her for first-degree tampering, stealing, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest, Bissell said.

Halsey said he has been creating three-dimensional butcher blocks, which can be hung as art, for about five years. In addition to the artwork, three display shelves for the artwork and other items were inside the white 2017 Interstate dual-axle trailer when it was stolen.

Halsey said he will miss a portion of the peak art-selling season while he works to create more pieces.

“There are two months in the spring and three in the fall for outdoor art festivals,” he said. “May and June, and then September, October November is the fall season. I am missing about a month and half of the high-point of the season.”

He said he is happy to have his pickup back, but he doesn’t believe his trailer or artwork will be recovered.

“Unless the police stumble upon it somewhere, it is lost,” Halsey said. “Maybe who took it saw that it wasn’t construction tools and just dumped the trailer.

Anyone with information about the stolen tailer and woodwork should call the Sheriff’s Office at 636-797-5515.