Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part LXXVIII): Burglars execute (relatively) sophisticated plan

The April 27, 2011 issue of the Newton County Times reports on lots of damage from Easter week-end storm, along with news of a rather elaborately planned burglary of three Jasper businesses early on Easter Sunday. The city's police chief reported that Bob's Market, the Subway sandwich shop, and Dollar General were all burglarized after the criminals cuts phone lines and drilled into the safes used by these businesses. In addition, a significant amount of merchandise was stolen from the town's Radio Shack. A closed circuit camera at Bob's Market photographed one of the burglars, but he was dressed in black and wearing a mask, and so was not identifiable. Of particular interest in relation to these crimes is the fact that Jasper's only patrol car was the object of vandalism a few hours before the burglaries began, rendering it useless for purposes of responding to the crimes.

In other law and order news:
  • 53-year-old Michael Yount was sentenced to 20 years in the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections as a habitual offender after he was found guilty of felony counts of residential burglary, breaking or entering and theft of property, as well as a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief. Yount entered a residence and took a cross bow in Oct. 2010, when he also took two mini-bikes from a shop building, along with two window air conditioning units.
  • 44-year-old Calvin Summers was placed on six years of probation and credited with 146 days of jail time served in a criminal case involving illegal drugs. When arrested in October, 2010, he was in possession of the raw materials for cooking methamphetamine.
  • 18-year-old Jady Allen Brannon was sentenced to 10 years of probation after pleading guilty to drug-related charges. He was arrested in Sept. 2010 for distributing methamphetamine and was found also to be manufacturing it.
  • The state dropped charges against 29-year-old Richard Carlos Ray, who was charged in August, 2010, with delivering psilocybin mushrooms, a controlled substance. He was also charged with possession of moonshine. The state dropped the charges because of lack of evidence to prove the defendant's involvement "in the foregoing crimes except his mere presence when they occurred."
  • 27-year-old Nathan W. Mock was sentenced to 24 months in the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections Community Correction Center after he was found guilty of commercial burglary and theft of property. He "was a co-defendant in the March 2010 burglary of the Jasper Pharmacy," in which prescription medications and three flat screen monitors were stolen.
In other news:
  • Under the headline, "County bracing for more bad weather," the paper reports road damage from recent storms, as well as "the ends of some bridges ... washed out." About 250 Carroll Electric customers lost power, and the cooperative said it would have to re-set 13 poles.
  • Some county offices will begin working 4-day weeks as a cost-cutting measure. The road department is among those which began the new schedule on April 25.
  • A 17-year-old kayaker missing in the upper Buffalo Wilderness Area was rescued. On Easter Sunday, April 24, he and his grandfather had attempted to use inflatable kayaks to kayak the "Hailstone" section of the Buffalo River, a "challenging section of seasonal whitewater" which attracted them in the midst of seasonal rains. Both men capsized shortly after they began their journey, and they swam to opposite sides of the river. Searchers found the grandfather on Monday and the 17-year-old grandson on Tuesday. Both were uninjured, though mildly hypothermic.

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