Burglars caught after getaway van gets stuck in ditch
If you are going to burglarize a car lot in the middle of the night, then don’t get your getaway vehicle stuck in a ditch with the stolen loot inside.
Whitley County Sheriff’s deputies say this is what happened to two alleged Pulaski County burglars, who are accused of trying burglarize a Goldbug car lot and steal one of its vehicles early Monday morning.
About 3:30 a.m., Deputy James Fox responded to a reported wreck along US25W near Town and Country Motors.
When Fox arrived at the scene, he made contact with two men, who were trying to get a white 1994 Chevy Astro van out of a ditch where it was stuck between the car lot and the highway. A Ford pick-up truck was stopped ahead of the van.
“Visible inside the van was a variety of tools and the door of the car lot’s office building appeared to have been breached,” Sheriff Colan Harrell said in a press release. “The owner of the car lot identified the tools as having been stored in the office as property of the business. The truck was also identified as belonging to the car lot.”
According to an arrest citation, Richardson was driving the van when it got stuck, and the two men were using the truck in an effort to get the van out of the ditch.
Fox charged Ronald Wayne Richardson, 49, and his uncle, Donald Steve Phillips, 54, both of Nancy, with first-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking-auto and theft by unlawful taking from a building.
Most of the stolen property was found in the back of the van. It was estimated to be worth about $7,500. The stolen truck was valued at about $5,500, according to an arrest citation.
Fox also charged Richardson with possession of marijuana.
Richardson allegedly hid a bag of suspected marijuana under his leg, according to an arrest citation.
Fox also charged Phillips with operating a motor vehicle on a suspended or revoked license.
Both were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center where they are being held in lieu of a $20,000 cash bond.
Judge Cathy Prewitt entered not guilty pleas for Phillips and Richardson during their arraignments Monday afternoon.
She scheduled a July 18 preliminary hearing in both of their cases and appointed the public advocate’s office to represent each man.
Sgt. Kirk Mays and Williamsburg Police Officers Mike Taylor and Tim Shelley assisted at the scene.
“Thank you to Whitley County Sheriff’s Office and Williamsburg City Police for your efforts to recover our items,” Dana Gilreath Hale, one of the owners of the car lot, wrote on her Facebook page.