Stolen snacks lead officers to suspect in recent burglaries

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

August 27, 2008 - The discovery of a case of stolen potato chips ultimately resulted in one man going to jail for theft-possession of stolen property.

Numerous items believed to be stolen were recovered from a Helm Lane residence, including items suspected to be those recently reported stolen in other area burglaries, according to police reports.

Chaddrick Tremaine Johnson, 20, of Sulphur Springs was arrested at 3:02 a.m. by officer Lonnie Taylor and Sgt. Kim Simpson for theft -- possession of stolen property.

Officers first took a report from a truck driver, who said while parked at Best Western Trail Dust Inn between 4 p.m. Monday and 2 a.m. Tuesday, his truck-trailer was broken into and several cases of Frito-Lay products stolen.

Police began walking the area, looking for evidence relative to the break-in. The case really got rolling when one officer spotted a case of Frito-Lay chips in the back of a blue pickup in a nearby apartment complex parking lot.

The officer had dispatcher conduct a records check, and found the pickup owner to be Johnson. Officers made contact with him at a Helm Lane apartment, where they observed several more cases of Frito-Lay chips inside an open closet in the hallway. The lot numbers of the eight cases of the chips found in Johnson's possession were matched to those missing from the Frito-Lay truck.

While at the apartment, officers noticed several other items which fit the descriptions of property reported stolen in the area recently.

Johnson was taken into custody by Taylor and Simpson on the possession of stolen property charge. The eight cases of Frito-Lay products, which contained a total of 704 bags of chips valued at 50 cents each, were recovered. The snack items, however, will all have to be disposed of, as company policy prohibits selling of the claimed products. The other suspected stolen items were also recovered.

Hopkins County Sheriff's Sgt. Todd Evans assisted in recovery of the items from the apartment, according to police reports.

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