August 28, 2012

Computer chip leads police to thief

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Modern technology backfired on a thief who stole, among other things, a laptop computer with a tracking chip that led police directly to him.

Within 45 minutes after a homeowner reported a burglary on D. Anders Road, five miles west of London, police had the suspect under arrest for numerous charges.

Seth Harville, age 21, of Joel Lane in Keavy, is scheduled for a court appearance on Tuesday, Aug. 28 for first-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, and two outstanding warrants. He is held under a $25,000 surety bond.

Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputy Shawn Boroviak arrived at the scene of the burglary around 7:30 p.m. Thursday and found the back door of the residence had been kicked in. The homeowner said several items had been taken, including a Rossi shotgun, a Play Station 3, a MacBook laptop computer and other electronic items. The homeowner told Boroviak that the laptop contained a tracking chip that could identify the location of the laptop.

Indeed, the tracking device led Boroviak, Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter and Deputy Robbie Grimes to a motel parking lot near the I-75 exit in London, where they spotted Harville sitting in the passenger seat of a green Chevy van, playing on the computer.

Harville was truthful with the officers when asked, telling them he had just stolen the laptop.

He was charged with the burglary, damaging the door of the residence, possessing Xanax and Oxycodone.

His accomplice, 21-year-old Mariah E. Beach, also of Joel Lane in Keavy, and the driver of the van, were also charged with first-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief. Also along for the ride with the thieves was Beach’s newborn baby, who was placed with other family members by Social Service workers who were called to the scene. Beach was held under a $25,000 surety bond, but was released just before 2 p.m. on Friday.

The investigation into the incident is being continued by the Laurel Sheriff’s Office, as will the investigation of the use of a black mask found inside the van.

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Trent Prewitt spends part of his time studying at Eastern Kentucky University and the rest of his time tending to his herd of 35 cattle on East Ky. 80.

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