Two suspects arrested in Sportsplex break-in, vandalismPublished 9:37pm Friday, May 3, 2013
Two male suspects were taken into custody and charged in the theft of various pieces of equipment from the Dallas County Sportsplex in a break-in that occurred last week.
Brothers John and Jimmy Cornett of Valley Grande were booked in the Dallas County jail Thursday night. Jimmy, 18, was charged with theft of property 1st and theft of property 2nd, while John, 19, was charged with theft of property 1st.
The two teens live in the Summerfield area of Valley Grande off of Alabama Highway 14 West.
Sgt. John Hatfield of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department was able to work leads from informants on the case and use Crimestoppers to hunt down the two suspects.
Chief Deputy Randy Pugh said most of the stolen items were retrieved from the suspects’ home, which is a camper trailer, located just several miles away from the Sportsplex.
“We got the majority of the stolen items back I would say,” Pugh said of the $25,000 worth of missing items. “We still need to track down some weed eaters and a back pack blower — we think those were already sold.”
The suspects also reportedly stole a $9,000 ATV from the complex, which they crashed through the complex gate and then later hid in the woods, yards away where sheriff’s deputies retrieved it Friday.
Pugh said he believes several other theft cases from the area will be solved because of other items that were found in the suspects’ home.
“They cleaned out the concession stands as well,” Pugh said while looking at stacks of Gatorade bottles, Swiss Miss hot chocolate packets, baseball helmets, catcher’s pads, gasoline cans and countless other items. He added the department suspected, “the suspects would be in this age group because of how they trashed the place,” after they sprayed a fire extinguisher chemical throughout the whole concession stand.
“The worst part is they tried to set the building on fire by setting a gas can on fire,” Sgt. Mike Granthum with the sheriff’s department told the Times-Journal during the preliminary investigation. “… They just completely vandalized it.”