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The Limestone County Sheriff's Office says it's broken up a six-month theft ring and they credit the watchful eye of neighbors.
Among the items the group is accused of stealing is a 10-year-old boy's four-wheeler.
“I wasn’t really surprised, because drugs are a big thing," said Brady Crowe.
That was Crowe’s reaction Wednesday when he learned the man believed to have stolen his four-wheeler, so he could trade it for meth, had been arrested.
Brady’s grandma says she’s glad.
“It just floors me and I’m just so happy," Martha McBay said.
But WAAY 31 has learned the arrest was just the tip of the iceberg.
The Limestone County Sheriff's Office tells WAAY 31 they've arrested four other people as part of the theft ring that hit homes and sheds, from Tanner all the way to Clements, over a span of about six months. Brady Crowe says it's something he's disappointed to hear.
“I do feel sorry for them, because it is around Christmas time, but I guess, if you do the crime, you do the time," he said.
Besides Brady’s four-wheeler, deputies say the group stole trailers, lawnmowers, power tools, batteries, air conditioning units, and scrap metal.
They give a lot of credit to the community for posting pictures and surveillance video on social media.
Brady’s grandma says her neighbors were posting and she believes the arrests wouldn’t have been made as quickly—or maybe even at all—if it weren’t for her watchful community.
“It’s because of all the friends and people on Facebook that got involved in it, and they want to see this stopped, too," McBay said. "Our whole community wants it stopped.”
If you’ve had any similar items stolen from your yard or shop within the last six months and haven’t filed a report yet, the sheriff’s office is urging you to come by or call them immediately.
The suspects charges and bonds are listed below:
* Luis Lopez, 36, was arrested Tuesday and the sheriff's office said he is allegedly the leader of the theft ring. He is
charged with theft in the 1st degree, theft in the 3rd degree and two counts of burglary in the 3rd degree. He was booked into the
Limestone County Jail with a bond set at $11,500.
* Jessica Padgett, 25, was arrested Tuesday for theft in the 3rd degree and is held at the Limestone County Jail with a bond set at $1,500.
* Derrick Hicks, 33, was already in custody on previous charges. He was charged on Tuesday with burglary in the 3rd degree with a $2,500 bond for this new charge.
* Stephanie Dutcher, 38, was arrested Tuesday and charged with theft in the 3rd degree. She has been released from the Limestone County Jail with a $1,500 bond.
* Christopher Pylant, 32, was arrested December 12 for receiving stolen property in the 3rd degree and possession of a controlled substance, i.e. meth. He has been released from the Limestone County Jail with a $4,000 bond.
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