EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (EAU CLAIRE POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) -- On May 22, 2014, Eau Claire Police Department Detectives arrested GORDON D. LASHLEY for committing multiple felony thefts of statues from the Antique Emporium, 306 Main Street, in the City of Eau Claire. These thefts occurred between January and February of 2014.
Eau Claire Police Department Detective Jason Kaveney and Antique Emporium storeowner Hugh Passow proactively worked together to locate the statues, with Passow ultimately finding them listed on an online auction website. Detective Kaveney’s investigation found that three of the statues were originally taken and sold to an art gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by Gordon Lashley. Detective Kaveney worked with investigators from the Minneapolis Police Department and Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office to locate and arrest Lashley as he returned to the gallery in Minneapolis to sell a fourth statue that had also been stolen from the Antique Emporium. The total value of the four statues is over $16,000.
On May 22, 2014, Eau Claire Police Detectives also executed a search warrant at Lashley’s residence, 1025 ½ Second Avenue, in the City of Eau Claire. During that search, detectives recovered additional evidence of the statue thefts as well as heroin and various drug paraphernalia. During an interview with Detective Kaveney, Lashley admitted to committing the statue thefts and selling them for money to support his heroin and morphine addictions. Lashley was held at the Hennepin County Jail on charges of Possession of Stolen Property and has since been extradited to Alabama for an unrelated Burglary warrant. This case has been forwarded to the Eau Claire County District Attorney’s Office for review, with recommendation of the following charges:
-WI Statute 943.20(1)(a) - Felony Theft (4 counts)
-WI Statute 961.41(1)(d)(1) Possession of Heroin
This case highlights the importance of collaboration between members of the community, the Eau Claire Police Department and other law enforcement agencies by working together to solve complicated, multijurisdictional crimes.