|Oklahoma domestic disturbance results in arrest, recovery of $13,700 stolen property|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
March 13, 2006 - A domestic disturbance in Oklahoma Saturday between a man and wife and local investigators’ tenacity ultimately resulted in one man being arrested in Greenville Sunday for possession of property stolen from at least two Hopkins County businesses as well as from construction sites recently.
Hopkins County Sheriff’s Investigators Charles Humphreys and Lewis Tatum, along with authorities in Pottawatomie County, Okla., Hunt County Investigator Janie Simpson have continued working the case since Saturday, recovering or accounting for at least $13,700 worth of property stolen from Hopkins County, according to investigators.
Chief Investigator Andy Chester said the ball really got rolling Saturday, after Timothy Gossett was reported to the Pottawatomie County authorities for allegedly assaulting his wife. The woman was said to have managed to get away from her husband and made contact with family members also in Oklahoma. The Pottawatomie County authorities were contacted and, during the course of their investigation of the reported assault, received information that the Gossett was transporting a stolen goods, including a Gator taken overnight March 3 from Ag Power.
Oklahoma authorities notified HCSO investigators Saturday. Humphreys and Tatum in turn made contact with an informant who advised he was transporting the stolen goods and continued to obtain more information regarding additional stolen items.
After continuing to follow leads and speaking with others, the investigators, along with deputy Ron England and Hunt County Investigator Simpson, obtained enough information on the stolen property that they were able to secure a search warrant for a Greenville location. The officers executed the warrant Sunday, finding a Gator and a $3,500 John Deere lawn mower, as well as air compressors.
The items were recovered and Gossett arrested Sunday by Hunt County authorities for possessing the stolen property. He had been released from Hunt County jail on bond by Monday morning. A second Gator stolen from the interstate business, as well as an $800 bumper pull trailer and other items, were located in Oklahoma, where they are being held until local investigators can pick them up later this week.
Hopkins County investigators said they have two other men they are questioning in connection with the business and construction thefts, and plan to seek warrants for Gossett and at least one other man in connection with the incidents.
“This cleared the thefts from two businesses, possibly a third, and several thefts of construction equipment, some big items. This was another fine job by investigators Lewis Tatum and Charles Humphreys They worked on this all weekend. Deputy Ron England assisted as well. I’m very proud of their hard work and the job they have done, and the sheriff said he is really proud of these guys, especially Investigator Lewis Tatum, who is on a streak lately solving these cases,” Chester praised.
During the course of the investigation the officers learned the air conditioners, stolen from a local business, had been gutted and stripped of their coils, which were pawned in the Dallas area while the remaining parts were discarded, according to Chester and Humphreys.
The recovered property is among a large quantity of stolen equipment and tools filling a storage building at the sheriff’s office. Most of the items are the result of arrests and solved burglary and theft cases in recent months.
Investigators said they while they are recovering a lot of property, they unfortunately are not having as much luck matching the stolen items to their owners as some do not have identifying marks or have had serial numbers scratched off or altered.
Anyone who has had items, especially tools and large farm implements and construction equipment, stolen and who has filed a report with authorities, but has yet to reclaim items is encourage to contact any investigator at Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office to set up an appointment to see if perhaps some of the stolen property is among the items at the sheriff’s office.
“If they’ve had items stolen and have filed a report, they can call to arrange to see an investigator to try to match up the items to the report, then check to see if they are theirs. As long as there is an offense or report about the stolen items so we can match them up, they can contact either Investigator Lewis Tatum, Inv. Charles Humphreys, Inv. Jace Anglin or myself,” Chester said.