A series of nine Residential Burglaries and three Break-Ins of outbuildings over the past several weeks, including many in the Hand Cove area, have been solved with the arrest Wednesday morning of a man living in the Mallard Point area, East of Mountain Home.
Sheriff's Investigators had been following up on leads developed in the recent burglary cases and had established night time surveillance on three persons of interest. Tire track impressions that had been taken at the location of one of the burglaries matched the tires found to be on a vehicle belonging to one of these persons.
Investigators gathered sufficient evidence to obtain a Search Warrant from District Judge Van Gearhart on Wednesday, January 12th, for a residence at 1361 Mallard Point Road. Investigators executed the warrant at approximately 10:00 AM Wednesday. Prior to serving the warrant, the man living at the residence, who was under surveillance, was observed to drive away from the residence. He was followed by deputies, who conducted a vehicle stop on this person on Rossi Road at approximately the same time that Investigators began searching the residence.
The driver of the vehicle that deputies stopped was identified as John Douglas Laws. Deputies found several stolen articles inside this vehicle, including two firearms that were stolen from a burglary in Marion County. John D. Laws was taken in custody at that time.
When Investigators entered the residence to serve the warrant, they immediately found numerous articles that had been reported stolen during the various burglaries. These included several firearms (shotguns, rifles, and handguns), big screen television sets, stereos and DVD players, diving equipment, furniture, tools, 3 laptop computers, musical instruments, two 4-wheeler ATVs and a flat bed trailer, and various household items. The items recovered had a collective value of approximately $43,000. Additional items were recovered from pawn shops in Jonesboro and Highland, Arkansas. Although much of the stolen property was found and recovered, other items reported to have been stolen were not found and have not yet been recovered.
At the conclusion of the search, 42 year old John Douglas Laws was charged with:
Residential Burglary - 9 counts - Felonies
Breaking or Entering - 3 counts - Felonies
Theft of Property - 10 counts - Felonies
Laws is currently being held in the Baxter County Detention Center with bond set at $200,000. He will appear in Circuit Court on January 20th. The Sheriff's Office does not anticipate any additional arrests, however additional charges against Laws could be filed as the investigation continues.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff