Holstein woman gets probation for rural theft ring

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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The third and final suspect in an Adams County-based rural theft ring will be on probation for the next four years.

Diane Hancock, 56, Holstein, had originally been charged with 34 theft and weapons charges in connection with the case. She pleaded no contest in December to a single charge of theft by receiving stolen property. A judge Thursday sentenced her to four years probation and ordered her to pay $2,360 restitution.

The burglary operation involved property stolen from farmsteads and rural residences, taken to a residence in Holstein and in some cases re-sold on social media sites. The property ranged from high-end tools, firearms, TVs and in one case a $4,000 drone stolen from a farm in Fillmore county. Law enforcement agencies from 14 counties were involved in the case.

Two others were convicted in connection with the quarter-million dollar burglary ring.

William Dreessen, 39, Hastings, was sentenced in January on eight felony convictions, including possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a stolen firearm, defacing a firearm, two counts of felony theft, two counts of felony burglary and one count of conspiracy. A number of other charges against Dreessen were dropped. He was sentenced to a minimum 56 years and a maximum of 84 years in prison.

Dustan Hallows, 24, Hastings, was convicted of two counts of felony burglary in connection with the case. Six other related charges were dropped in exchange for a no contest plea. He was sentenced to 36 months probation and ordered to pay a total of $2,600 restitution to two of the burglary victims.