HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - A Hastings man arrested after trying to break into the Local4 studio now faces a felony burglary charge.
James Wheeler, Jr., 30, was taken into custody January 11 after authorities found him hiding inside a detached garage on the KSNB-TV property.
It all started just after midnight when Wheeler attempted to get inside the National Weather Service offices, on Highway 281 north of Hastings. The Adams County Sheriff's Office said he was unable to completely enter the building.
Deputies responded to the scene, along with Nebraska State Patrol to search for the suspect. Authorities were unable to locate him after this first attempt.
Then just after 2 a.m., Wheeler tried to break into our station, the KSNB-TV building that's near the National Weather Service. He tried several attempts to get into the building, but was unable to enter.
A KSNB-TV security camera shows the man grab a shovel and break it off to try and gain access to the building. He was unsuccessful.
Authorities were called back out to the area and after searching for a short time, they discovered Wheeler hiding in a detached garage on our station's property. Wheeler had barricaded himself inside the garage. Adams County Sheriff's deputies, along with Hastings Police officers were able to break in the door to get him out and take him into custody.
Officers said Wheeler, who appeared to be under the influence of drugs, told them he had walked out from Hastings and was looking for a car to steal to get to Grand Island.
Wheeler is charged with felony burglary and if convicted could get up to 20 years in prison.
He is being held at the Adams County jail on $50,000 bond.