Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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January 9, 2014

Stolen property recovered

Athens — The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Malakoff men and recovered tens-of-thousands of dollars worth of stolen property last week, Sheriff Ray Nutt reports.

The action followed a 6-month-long investigation into burglaries in a concentrated area between Caney City and Athens, including several within Point LaVista, Pearl Harbor and Farm-to-Market Road 3054.

HCSO has been working in conjunction with the Caney City Police Department, Log Cabin Police Department and Athens Police Department to solve the burglaries. Nutt said the investigation is ongoing, and additional arrests are expected.

Chance Michael Cranford, 22, of Malakoff was booked into the Henderson County Jail on Jan. 2 for burglary of a building. He was released after posting $10,000 bond. Jeffrey Tad Fletcher, 47, of Malakoff, was booked for theft of property. He was released on Saturday on $1,000 bond.

According to police reports, a Log Cabin PD Officer Brian Huckabee located Cranford at a vacant residence off San Jacinto in Log Cabin.

Huckabee saw several items that he believed to be stolen. When the officer spoke with Cranford, he learned that a number of items had been stolen by Cranford or his associates. Huckabee also learned that a number of the items had been stolen outside of LCPD jurisdiction and informed HCSO. A large quantity of stolen property was recovered from the San Jacinto residence, and information was obtained where other stolen property was located on County Road 1411.

HCSO reports said Investigator Nick Webb obtained a search warrant  for the County-Road 1411 location, and several additional stolen items were recovered there.  Dep. Brad Beddingfield took a formal statement from Cranford in which he admitted to his involvement in several burglaries and thefts in the area. The suspect was arrested and taken to the Henderson County Jail.

According to HCSO reports, investigators followed up and recovered numerous additional items that had been pawned around Henderson and Smith Counties. Investigator Robert Powers gained sufficient information to obtain a warrant on Fletcher, who resides at Point La Vista.

Nutt reports that the HCSO investigators located and seized tens-of-thousands of dollars worth of stolen items, including power tools, hand tools, ATV’s, boating equipment and other items taken from places like sheds, boat docks and carports. Investigators are trying to locate and identify all of the victims of the burglaries.

Nutt would like to encourage any Henderson County resident, especially those residing in Pearl Harbor, Point LaVista or on  Starview, Melody Lane, Ridge Row, Kings Row, Lake Lane and County Road 3704, who may have noticed items missing from their property, to contact Investigators Brad Gray, John Long or Robert Powers. You can call the sheriff’s office at 903-675-5128.

Nutt also urges citizens to maintain ways to identify their property, keeping record of a VIN or serial number.  Maintaining receipts, photographing, etching a driver’s license number on, or otherwise marking the property, are also ways of helping authorities to identify the owners of stolen property.

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