The Smithville Police Department has apparently solved two separate thefts at Chad's Auto Sales with the arrests of two men and a petition taken against a juvenile.
18 year old Ryan Felts of Wade Street is charged with vandalism, burglary, two counts of theft of a vehicle, and theft of property over $10,000. His bond totals $27,500. 33 year old Jack Mullican of the Johnson's Chapel Community is charged with theft over $1,000 and possession of stolen property. His bond is $3,500. Both men will be in court on the charges July 19.
Chief Randy Caplinger said that on Saturday, June 23, an officer was dispatched to 317 West Broad Street, Chad's Auto Sales to take a report about a theft. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Glynn Merriman and Chad Hale, owners and operators of the business, who said that someone had broken into the office. Items taken included a Dell laptop, a Hewlett Packard desk top CPU, a filing cabinet containing car titles, $1,220 in cash, and a 2005 GMC Yukon was stolen from the car lot. There was no tag on the vehicle at the time of the theft. The electric meter to the office was also stolen. Entry had been made by cutting a padlock off the front door. At that time there were no suspects.
The next day, Sunday June 24, Chief Caplinger said an officer was again called to Chad's Auto Sales to take a report of another theft. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the owner, Mr. Hale who said someone had taken a 2004 Volvo. Keys to the vehicle had apparently been taken during the previous break-in
After identifying Felts as a suspect, Chief Caplinger and detectives of the Smithville Police Department, accompanied by sheriff's deputies, went to a residence in Dowelltown where Felts was believed to be staying. After questioning Felts, who initially denied knowing anything about the burglary and theft, Chief Caplinger said he caught a glimpse of something in the woods on the old road between Liberty and Dowelltown, as he leaving, which turned out to be one of the vehicles and other items taken in the thefts "After the detectives left, I was still on the scene, as I was leaving the area, I happened to see something in the woods. I went back and walked down in the woods and there was the 2005 Yukon, the filing cabinet and most of the paperwork from Chad's Auto Sales. Felts was brought in and he confessed to the crime and led us to other stolen items," said Chief Caplinger.
Officers then went to Mullican's residence in the Johnson's Chapel community and found the stolen 2004 Volvo. "He was at his residence on Johnson's Chapel and found to be in possession of the Volvo belonging to Chad's Auto Sales. It was stolen and taken to Mullican's residence to hide. Mullican was aware the vehicle was stolen and he agreed to hide it," said Chief Caplinger
As a result of the investigation, Chief Caplinger said everything in the break-in was recovered except the cash.
Meanwhile, 20 year old Terry Lee Jones, III is charged with five counts of forgery. His bond is $7,500.
Chief Caplinger said that Jones was at the entrance of Smithville Elementary School when he was spotted by a DeKalb County deputy, while enroute to a call. When Jones was brought in on an existing warrant for failure to appear, he was questioned about a possible forgery of checks on his father's account. Jones admitted to forging the checks. He also provided information as to where a family member's saddle had been stolen and hidden. He allegedly forged checks on his father's account, took them to a local bank, and cashed them. He admitted to taking the checks and getting the money. In one of the cases, Jones admitted to making out a check on his father's account to another person, who tried to cash this check at the bank. The check was turned down. Jones admitted to forging the check to get his friend to cash it so he could have the money.
35 year old Wesley Chandler is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on August 2. Chief Caplinger said that on Saturday, June 23 police were called to the parking lot of DeKalb Community Hospital where someone had passed out in a vehicle. The officer arrived and found Chandler passed out at the steering wheel. The keys were still in the ignition. It took time to get Chandler to respond. He had very slurred speech. He was unsteady on his feet getting out of vehicle and he performed very poorly on all field sobriety tasks. Chandler submitted to taking a blood test.
53 year old Carolyn Jones is cited for theft of property. According to Chief Caplinger, police were called to Walmart on Friday, June 22 in regard to a shoplifter. Upon arrival, the officer met with an employee of the store, who said Jones had been seen taking merchandise and putting it in her purse. She tried to leave the store without paying for the items. She was found with the items on her.
27 year old Ellissa Howard is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $2,500. Chief Caplinger said that on Friday, June 22 police were called to a residence on West Bryant Street where Howard had allegedly assaulted her husband by grabbing his shirt, breaking his necklace, leaving marks on his neck, and biting him. She also hit him in the face with a phone.
36 year old Russell Blackwell is cited for a fourth offense of driving under the influence and charged with simple possession of a schedule II & III controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond totals $14,500 and he will be in court July 19. Chief Caplinger reports that on Wednesday, June 20 police were called to the parking lot of Advance Auto Parts on South Congress Boulevard, where two people were passed out in a vehicle. Upon arrival, police found both Blackwell and 28 year old Roxanna Landis in the car. Both had to be awakened. Blackwell got out the vehicle. The keys were still in the ignition. His speech was very slurred and he was very unsteady on his feet. Blackwell told police he had been there for an hour. He was placed under arrest. A computer check revealed he already had three prior DUI offenses on his record. Blackwell submitted to a blood test and gave police consent to search. The officer found used hypodermic needles, a cut straw and a whole straw which contained a powdery residue. Inside the drivers side door panel, police also found a small box containing three dilaudid pills and a white box containing one and a half to two pieces of suboxone pills .
Landis was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. She was a passenger of Blackwell's vehicle. Police awoke her. As she got out of the car, police saw a straw coming out of her pocket. She was asked to remove all items from her pockets Landis tried to hide it, but the officer found that Landis was carrying two used syringes in her right front pocket.
29 year old Roxanne White is cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. She will be in court on July 26. While investigating a possible domestic assault case at a residence on Gentry Avenue, police asked to check White's purse for any illegal items. She consented to the search. Inside her wallet, the officer found a hypodermic syringe.