Smithville Police have arrested a man for auto theft and vandalism in a stolen van investigation.
23 year old Justin Hale of 240 Poplar Street was arrested last Sunday. His bond is set at $30,000 and he will be in court on April 15th.
On Easter Sunday, Corporal Travis Bryant was advised by Deputy Bobby Johnson that he had recovered a vehicle on McMinnville Highway on Saturday, April 3rd. At the time of recovery, the automobile had not been reported stolen. Upon investigation of the abandoned vehicle, officers discovered that it had been stolen from Love-Cantrell Funeral Home.
Corporal Bryant spoke with Renee Hennessee of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home and she stated that the van had been parked around back of the funeral home and was last seen on Friday, April 2nd at approximately 8:30 p.m..
Officers found damage to the inside and outside of the van and the license plate on it had been stolen from a 2006 Chevy van in Warren County sometime over the weekend. Upon further investigation, Hale was arrested for auto theft and vandalism.
39 year old Cheryl Ann Perkins of 1001 King Ridge Road, Dowelltown was cited by Officer Scott Davis on Friday, April 2nd for shoplifting. Ms. Perkins was observed by a Wal-Mart employee taking several items of merchandise. She allegedly had them on her person and attempted to leave the store without paying for them. She will be in General Sessions Court on April 15th.
34 year old Guillermo Villa Reyes of Winston-Salem, North Carolina was arrested on Friday, April 2nd for driving under the influence. K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow was assisting EMS at 322 West Broad Street when he discovered Mr. Reyes passed out behind the wheel of his car in the parking lot. There were several beers about the car and the parking lot in the immediate area of the vehicle. The keys were in the ignition. Officer Tatrow noticed Mr. Reyes bleeding from his nose and eye area from small lacerations. Upon waking him, the officer asked Reyes to exit the vehicle. He was so unsteady that he could not stand without aide from Officer Tatrow and Officer Nathan Estes. Mr. Reyes also had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about his person. Field sobriety tests were not performed due to the language barrier and for fear of Mr. Reyes' safety due to his inability to stand without aide. Mr. Reyes was arrested for DUI and transported to the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital, where he received treatment for the injuries on his face. It was later discovered that Mr. Reyes had fallen some time before Officer Tatrow had made contact with him. Reyes submitted to chemical tests to determine the alcohol/drug content of his blood. The results of those tests are pending. Bond for Reyes was set at $1,500 and his court date is April 22nd.
35 year old Jeremy Aaron Bilbrey of 415 West Broad Street was arrested on Tuesday, April 6th. for driving on a revoked license. Sergeant Randy King was responding to a call when he saw Bilbrey driving a red one ton truck. Sergeant King knew Bilbrey's license was revoked for DUI due to his plea in criminal court in DeKalb County. Bond for Bilbrey was set at $1,000 and his court date is May 6th.
32 year old Terika D Faux of 3075 Sparta Highway was arrested on Thursday, April 8th for two counts of unauthorized use of a credit card. On Wednesday, April 7th Corporal Travis Bryant met with Tiffany Wright who said that on Tuesday, April 6th her wallet had been stolen out of her car in Lebanon and when she checked her bank records she discovered two unauthorized purchases made at McDonald's and McDonald's Red Box in Smithville. Upon further investigation, Corporal Bryant viewed surveillance video and saw Ms. Faux using Ms. Wright's debit card at a business in Watertown which led to his questioning of Ms. Faux. She was advised of her rights and questioned about the theft of Ms. Wright's wallet. She completed a statement at the police department where she allegedly admitted taking and using the items. Her bond is set at $2,000 and her court date is April 15th.
50 year old Judy Vaughn Youngblood of 310 East Broad Street was cited on Thursday, April 8th for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. While K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow was investigating a complaint of drug activity at 310 East Broad Street, he received verbal consent to search the residence. Approximately .10 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana was recovered in the kitchen area in a canister as well as from a tackle box. Also found was a round blue device believed to have been used to crush the marijuana. A pair of scales believed to have been used to weigh the marijuana was also recovered from the tackle box. Youngblood's court date is May 6th..
37 year old Jeffery Lynn Murphy of 399 Cooper Drive McMinnville was arrested on Friday, April 9th by Sergeant Randy King for violation of probation. Murphy is being held without bond. His court date is April 12th.
Meanwhile, anyone having information on the following offenses is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.
On Sunday, April 4th Officer Scott Davis took a theft report at 428 Morgan Drive. The victim stated that she noticed her green/black gas weed eater missing around 3:00 pm. She said the last time she saw the weed eater was on Saturday, April 3rd and it was lying on top of her lawn mower.
On Thursday, April 8th, Officer Scott Davis took a report of theft from a vehicle at 415 West Broad Street. According to the three victims involved, they had left some items in a vehicle around 7:00 p.m on Wednesday, April 7th and went out of town. After returning they discovered some things missing. Items taken were: Garmin GPS, Craftsman socket set and two Memphis Mojo sub woofers.
Any information received that will help the Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.
The Smithville Police Department has also received complaints of a scam targeting the elderly. According to citizens, people are approaching elderly homeowners requesting to do odd jobs around their residence. They request payment before service is rendered. Once paid, they do not return to provide services. Anyone approached by such persons should not pay until service is completed. Also anyone having information regarding such activity is requested to contact the Smithville Police Department or the tip line at 464-6046.
The Smithville Police Department is also currently investigating several other types of scams that have recently been reported.
Lt. Steven Leffew would like to make you aware of how you can help protect yourself from being victimized by these scams.
Reduce your risk of telephone fraud scams
When you're speaking with an unknown caller, keep in mind these tactics for avoiding phone fraud:
"When in doubt, ask for more information in writing about the organization calling or the offer being presented.
"Never feel obligated to provide your credit card number over the phone.
"Educate yourself about the cost of "900" number calls and how you can block such calls from getting through.
"Get as many details as you can - for example, ask how much of your donation will go toward the charity as opposed to paying for administrative costs. The fewer questions the caller can answer, the less likely he or she is legitimate.
"Get a call-back number, either so you can initiate the call yourself or because you may need to report it later.
"Stay informed so you're aware of the latest trends in telephone fraud.
Your best response
If you encounter one of these all-too-common scenarios, you'll be prepared to handle it.
"If you get a call from someone posing as a representative from your financial institution and asking for your account or personal information, hang up immediately and call your bank to verify any claims.
"If a telemarketer offers you a get-rich-quick opportunity, the best response is to turn him or her down right away.
"Avoid offers informing you that you've won a prize. Respondents are often asked to pay for "shipping" or a "deposit" for a prize that never existed in the first place.
"Be wary of calls soliciting contributions to charitable causes, particularly those regarding disaster relief. Many times, these solicitors are not legitimate. You're better off choosing a worthy cause and contacting them yourself than responding to a random telefunding request.
Reduce your risk of home fraud scams
Be sure to take these everyday precautions for the general well-being of your financial information.
"Monitor your accounts online at least once a week so you'll have early notice of any suspicious activities. In addition, paying and monitoring your bills online will eliminate the risk of having printed statements lost, misplaced or removed from your mailbox.
"Get your credit report, and make sure everything appears correct. You're entitled to a free copy every 12 months, so there's no reason to hold off.
"Opt in to your financial institution's offer to have "account alerts" delivered to your cell phone or email. It's another way of staying on top of your account activity so you can respond promptly if you notice anything amiss.
"Don't give out financial or other personal information over the phone, unless you initiated the call and have confirmed the identity of the party on the other end. Don't be afraid to ask questions, including asking for a callback number. Get more information about how you can protect yourself from mail and phone fraud.
"Store important documents in a secure, locked box - preferably a strongbox that cannot be damaged by fire, flood, or other disaster.
"Keep personal records, payroll information, insurance files, and other sensitive information stored securely out of sight to minimize the chances that your papers end up in the wrong hands. Half of all identity fraud is committed by friends, family members, relatives, employees, live-in caregivers, and other individuals working in or around the home.
Check the mail
Your mailbox is an extension of your home and is, therefore, another channel you should protect from unwanted intruders.
"Never give out personal information in a reply envelope. Identity thieves may send out official-looking letters, often posing as banks.
"Beware of notices announcing that you've won a prize, such as an expensive TV or car. Some scams request for victims to pay substantial "shipping" fees for delivery, but the prize never arrives. A similar scam is an invitation that asks you to send money in order to participate in a foreign lottery.
"Watch out for bills that do not arrive as expected, unexpected credit card account or account statements, denial of credit for no apparent reason, and letters about purchases you did not make.
"Notify your Post Office or fill out the online form immediately if you change your address. You should also make sure your mailbox is secured, promptly remove delivered mail, and put your postal delivery on hold before you go on vacation.
"If you receive any suspicious correspondence or if a forwarding order has been placed on your mail without your knowledge, contact your Post Office right away. To file a complaint about mail theft or fraud, notify the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.