By Carrie Dillard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Once again, the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office has a diligent public to thank for the location of three persons wanted for the theft of a Suzuki Samurai vehicle from R&S Truck Repair.
As a result of an investigation and a large number of tips from the public, Tearle Sowders, 27, of Waterworks Road, London, and Ashley Howard, 23, of Mildred Road, McKee, were arrested and charged with theft by unlawful taking-vehicle, first-degree criminal mischief and receiving stolen property. Sowders was also charged with being a persistent felony offender.
The two females were arrested following a traffic stop on I-75, six miles north of London, at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 23, which was conducted by Detective Jason Back and Deputy James Sizemore.
Both women were lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center.
A third suspect was arrested by Sheriff John Root, Captain Rodney Van Zant, and Detective Jason Back on Thursday, May 23 at 4:35 p.m. He is identified as Travis Joe McQueen, 39, of Old State Road, Lily. McQueen was charged on an outstanding Laurel County indictment, charges of theft by unlawful taking, first-degree criminal mischief, and receiving stolen property. He was lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center.
The three individuals involved in the theft at R&S Truck Repair on U.S. 25 were indicted by the Laurel County Grand Jury in May. They caused major damage to the front chain link fence gate on Monday, April 29 at 8:23 p.m., and the subjects stole a Suzuki Samurai by hot wiring the vehicle, even though the keys were in the ignition. They then drove the vehicle through the closed front gate, ripping it down, and fled south bound on U.S. 25 at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was found abandoned in the middle of Old State Road, less than an hour later.
Surveillance photos were posted on the sheriff’s department Facebook page, on television and in local newspapers and information was given on local radio stations. Numerous tips were received. Persons of interest were interviewed, and ultimately, Detective Loomis developed enough information to seek an indictment on the three suspects.