Cumby man held in connection with beer store burglary cleared
Two arrested on felony charges

Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

July 2, 2005 -- Chief Sheriff's Investigator Andy Chester said Friday that two Cumby men have been arrested on burglary charges stemming from the early Wednesday morning break-in at the Beer 30 liquor store in Cumby, and officers were looking for a third burglar.

Christopher Lee Hooper, 23, and Shawn Brandon Duffey, 23, were arrested this week on burglary of a building charges. Duffey remained in the county jail Saturday in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Deputies responded to an alarm at Beer 30 around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday and found a door had been pried open and a quantity of alcholic beverages and tobacco items had been taken.

Sgt. Todd Evans and Cpl. Eddie Moon began an investigation into the burglary, with Moon's canine, Jack, tracking the burglars for a short distance before losing the scent.

Investigator Jace Anglin was also dispatched to process the crime scene and found the store video surveillance equipment recorded two suspects wearing bandanas and with red tape on their fingers -- an apparent attempt to conceal their fingerprints -- prying open the door.

Cumby Police Chief Dewayne Evans joined in the investigation and tentatively identified one of the burglars on the surveilance tape. A 19-year-old Cumby man was arrested after investigators found bandanas and red tape in his residence. Chester said further investigation indicated the man was not involved.

"He is still in custody, however, on other charges," Chester added.

Working on their own time Wednesday afternoon, deputies Evans and Charlie Walker returned to the scene of the burglary in hopes of finding some bit of information that they might have overlooked the night before.

"They did find some more evidence in a field -- some of the alcohol bottles and some of the cigarettes that were taken from the store," Chester said. "There is a county road behind the store and they saw an individual walking there, and he was wearing the same clothes he was wearing during the burglary."

The man told officers where he lived. Evans and Walker met HCSO Investigator Lewis Tatum at the house, where a second man was asleep on a couch.

"He, too, was wearing the same clothes that he had on during the burglary," Chester said. "Investigator Tatum questioned him briefly at the house, and he admitted to the burglary."

Alcohol stolen from the liquor store was found in the residence, as were most of the cigars that were taken, after the two men led officers to where it had been stashed. A third person was identified by the pair as having played a role in the burglary, serving as the driver of the getaway car. Deptuties obtained an arrest warrant for the third man Friday.

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