Deputies arrest suspect in ATV thefts

Published 9:08 pm Monday, April 5, 2010

After searching for more than two weeks, Dallas County Sheriff’s Department officers found a suspect linked to thefts in the area of three utility trailers and one 4-wheeler.

Officers arrested Bobby Jermain Tillis of 1361 County Road 1 North in Billingsley, Friday on U.S. Highway 80 East. Devices tracked Tillis through Autauga and Dallas counties.

“We set this up one night last week, and within the overnight period, an item was stolen that we had a tracking device on,” said Chief Deputy Randy Pugh. “We were able to track the item about 10 miles where we located the subject pulling our trailer and 4-wheeler.”

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Lead investigators on the case are Sgt. Mike Granthum and Sgt. John Hatfield.

“It’s been a log process and we’re still continuing to work,” Hatfield said. “We have been to Autauga counties two times in the last three days searching the areas and doing search warrants.”

Judge Bob Armstrong set bond at $100,000, but this amount is subject to an increase. Maximum bond for this charge is $30,000, but because Tillis will also appear in court Tuesday in Montgomery for the same offense, Armstrong set the bond higher to keep Tillis from committing the same crime again soon. Tillis has no other convicted offenses on his record.

The Alabama State Department of Agriculture worked with officers to provide tracking supplies. The Sheriff’s Department is looking to purchase tracking equipment in the next 30 days.