Curtis Wayne Hoover, 19, of 320 W. 2nd St. in Duke, and Cary Michael Welch, 19, of 601 Comanche Drive in Altus found themselves jailed Tuesday after a sharp Altus canine put his nose to the ground and led sheriff’s deputies to evidence linking the pair to a burglary overnight Sunday at the Duke Farm Center.
Welch is also being charged along with Brady Kip Bartlett, 21, of 16592 County Road 202, for an earlier burglary at the Duke School and yet again along with Daniel Anderson, 19, of 302 W. Lamar in Hollis, for a burglary and arson in Greer County.
Hoover is charged with second degree burglary; Welch with two counts of second degree burglary in Jackson County and facing another count of second degree burglary and second degree arson in Greer County; Bartlett with second degree burglary; and Anderson facing a charges of second degree burglary and second degree arson in Greer County.
According to a sheriff’s office incident report, shortly after 6 a.m. Monday, the sheriff’s department received a call from the Farm Center’s manager, Lynn Barnes, who reported that the store had been broken into and that about $1,000 in cash was missing as well as a roll of Copenhagen and a partial roll of Skoal.
Undersheriff Roger LeVick determined that entry was gained by kicking in the back door, and he photographed dust footprints on the floor. In a plowed field east of the store, deputies found footprints consistent with those inside the store.
LeVick requested a canine unit from the Altus Police Department to track the suspects, and when Officer Tony Lee arrived around noon his dog followed the track directly to Hoover’s home on West 2nd Street. When Hoover’s mother, Darlene Hoover, drove up to the house around 3 p.m., LeVick saw the rolls of tobacco in the back floorboard of the car, as well as a muddy pair of mismatched shoes, which she gave to the undersheriff.
The thread pattern on the shoes matched the prints left in the store.
Later that night, Mrs. Hoover called LeVick and told him she had received a phone call from her son, saying that he and Welch had been en route to Mexico but had decided to turn themselves in.
Both Hoover and Welch admitted to the farm center break-in.
In addition, Welch admitted to a Sept. 21 break-in along with Bartlett at the Duke School, saying that they stole about $230 in that break-in. Also, Welch said that on Oct. 8, he and Anderson tore a barn door off and burned a house belonging to Dale Stayton south of Russell in Greer County.