Limestone County sheriff: Boats stolen from North Alabama found in Arkansas, Tennessee

Terry Akpua, Cartez Horne, Demetrus Virginia

The sheriff's office says boats stolen from a Madison dealership were found in Arkansas and Tennessee.

Posted: Oct 23, 2019 4:33 PM
Updated: Oct 23, 2019 4:50 PM

The Limestone County Sheriff's Office says two boats stolen Sunday from a Madison dealership were found in Arkansas and Tennessee.

Two suspects were arrested Monday night after trying to sell the boats through social media, the sheriff's office says. A third suspect is still sought.

Demetrus Virginia, 34, and Cartez Horne, 29, who are both from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, were arrested in Jonesboro, Arkansas, on Monday. They will be extradited to the Limestone County Jail for four counts of theft first-degree, criminal mischief third-degree and criminal trespass second-degree.

The third suspect, 28-year-old Terry Chike Akpua of Bowie, Maryland, is wanted for facilitating the theft and sale of the boat(s).

The sheriff's office says on Sunday, Backwoods Landing in Madison on Old Highway 20 reported new duck boats that were both equipped with a motor and a trailer were stolen. The department says the owners reported the lock on the gate had been cut.

According to the sheriff's office, investigators found a suspicious truck occupied by Virginia and Horne that had been prowling around the business Saturday night.

On Monday morning, the sheriff's office says one of the boats was posted for sale on a social media duck hunting board. A prospective buyer noticed the listed price was too low for a new boat and posted on social media asking if the price was reasonable, according to the department.

The sheriff's office says the owners of Backwoods Landing contacted investigators, who were able to contact the prospective buyer. Officials coordinated with police in Jonesboro, Arkansas, the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office in Arkansas, and the Independence County Sheriff’s Office in Arkansas.

Officials say Virginia and Horne had taken one boat to Jonesboro, Arkansas, with the intent to sell it. That is where Jonesboro police took them into custody and recovered the boat, motor and trailer.

Akpua was then identified as a suspect. His last known address was in Nashville. Through working with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee, investigators were able to recover the second boat and trailer near Akpua’s home.

Investigators contacted the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee to check in Murfreesboro where the other two suspects lived. The sheriff's office says deputies found what appeared to be a "chop shop" with remnants of boats, motors and other parts.

According to the sheriff's office, the second motor, a 60-horsepower Yamaha outboard, is still missing. If you have information about the whereabouts of Akpua or the motor, the sheriff's office asks you to call 256-232-0111 and ask for Investigator Durden.

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