Sheriff Ray Says Thieves May be Reading Your Classified Ads

April 14, 2008
Dwayne Page

Sheriff Patrick Ray is warning you to be careful about how you advertise items for sale from your homes, such as motorcycles, ATV's, and vehicles because it could entice thieves to steal them when you are unaware or away from home.

Sheriff Ray says "We have found out through our investigations that people who post items for sale on the Internet, newspapers, or radio and post their home phone number or home addresses, may be giving thieves valuable information. Thieves are taking the listed phone numbers and querying them through search engines on the Internet and finding out the location of the items. Then the culprit will use mapping systems on the Internet for directions to the home and attempt to steal the listed items. Items such as ATV's, motorcycles, and vehicles are among the most favorite because most people leave these items parked in yards to advertise them for sale. Sheriff Ray asks you to post a cell phone number instead of your home phone number and never post your address for someone to look at."

Meanwhile, in other crime news, 65 Year old Phillip Roger Gravel of Andrew Street, Smithville was charged last Monday with driving on a suspended driver's license. Sheriff Ray says deputies, with knowledge that Gravel's license was suspended, stopped him on Restview Avenue after noticing him operating a motor vehicle. Gravel's bond was set at $1,000 and his court date is May 15th.

58 year old Jose Contrera of Old Smithville Road, McMinnville was arrested Wednesday for no driver's license and leaving the scene of an accident. Sheriff Ray says deputies responded to a call on Highway 56 South where Contrera had hit a vehicle. Instead of staying at the scene of the accident, Contrera decided to leave. Contrera was found at a factory on Highway 70 West and was arrested. Contrera's bond was set at $2,000 and his court date is set for April 23rd.

Also on Wednesday, 30 year old Aron Dewayne Ponder of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown was arrested on a sealed indictment from the April Term of the DeKalb County Grand Jury. Ponder was indicted on one count of attempt to sell a schedule II drug (Oxycontin) and one count of attempt to deliver a schedule II drug (Oxycontin). Ponder's bond was set at $10,000.

26 year old Christina Love Johnson of Kendra Drive, Smithville was arrested Thursday on a sealed indictment from the December 2007 term of the DeKalb County Grand Jury. Johnson was charged with possession of a schedule VI drug for resale, possession of a schedule VI drug for delivery, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Johnson's bond was set at $5,000.

On Friday, 34 year old Martinez Velasquez of Bright Hill Road, Smithville was arrested for a first offense of driving under the influence and no driver's license. The Sheriff's Department responded to a call on Highway 70 East about an accident. After an investigation into the accident, officers found that Velasquez had run a vehicle off the road way and that he was intoxicated. Velasquez also did not have a valid driver's license. He was arrested and a bond was set at $2,000. His court date is May 15th.

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