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03/16/2012

WOMAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH THEFT OF TWO AUTOMOBILES

Melissa Leann Staley

     MELISSA LEANN STALEY, 23 years old of Henderson, Arkansas, has been jailed on a felony theft charge after Sheriff’s Investigators linked her to the theft of two motor vehicles that were reported in late February and early March in 2011. 

     Back on February 23, 2011, it was reported to the Sheriff’s Office that a 1992 Mercury Sable valued at $1,000.00 had been stolen from behind a residence at 4844 Hwy 5 South.  This vehicle was non-operational and had been sitting behind the house since September, 2010.  Witnesses reported they observed a dually truck loading up the vehicle on the morning of February 22, 2011. 

     On March 3, 2011, the Sheriff’s Office took a report that a 1965 Chevrolet Impala valued at $2,200.00 had been stolen from 4920 Hwy 5 South sometime between February, 2011 and March, 2011.  The vehicle was in storage at that address.   

     About a year later, on March 8, 2012, the Sheriff’s Office was notified by the owner of the Chevrolet Impala that someone had filed for a lost title with the Office of Motor Vehicles at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. 

     Using information obtained from DFA, Sheriff’s Investigator Lt. Terry Johnson learned that the Chevrolet Impala had been sold at an auction in Midway in 2011 to a person in Fulton County, Arkansas.  The Mercury Sable had been scrapped by the same person who sold the Impala at the auction.  The Impala was found in Fulton County on the property of the person who bought it at that auction and was recovered.  

     The person who sold the vehicle at auction provided Lt. Johnson with bills of sale he obtained on both vehicles when he purchased them in 2011.  He bought the Mercury Sable for $80.00 and the Chevrolet Impala for $100.00.  These bills of sale were signed by MELISSA LEANN STALEY.  The seller also identified STALEY from a photo line-up as being the person who originally sold him the two vehicles.  STALEY was contacted by the Sheriff’s Office and came in to be interviewed.  She admitted to signing the bills of sale on the two stolen vehicles and obtaining cash for their transfer.  She acknowledged that she did not own either vehicle, nor did she have a title to either vehicle. 

     MELISSA LEANN STALEY was booked into the Detention Center on March 15, 2012 on a charge of Theft of Property – Class D Felony, with bond set at $25,000.00.  She is scheduled to appear in Circuit Court on March 22, 2012. 

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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