On March 10, at approximately 1:50 p.m., Deputy Aaron Cochrane responded to Grady Henson’s shop on Hwy. 17 South in reference to a stolen trailer. Grady advised that his employee, David Herman, had called and advised him to come to the shop and when he was unlocking the front door, he observed broken glass on the ground. Herman advised Henson that the car hauler trailer was missing.
Henson advised Cochrane he checked the video surveillance cameras to see who may have stolen the trailer and saw that he had footage of a truck pull into the lot, turn off its headlights and a white male walk up and shoot out the night light over the door with a rifle. Henson said the unidentified male then walked back to his truck, backed up to the trailer and drove off. Herman advised that according to his home surveillance system, the truck drove through Weldon approximately 15 minutes later.
Henson advised Cochrane that a truck matching the description had moved two camper trailers into the trailer park across the street the Thursday before and that the man had been acting suspicious, scraping paint off the trailers and the identifying tags. After making contact with the owner of the trailer park, Henson learned that John Brazile was the subject renting the lot.
Captain Ricky Morales advised Cochrane of traffic from the night before, when a trailer had been stolen from a farm shop and the suspect vehicle had been described as a silver Dodge pickup truck. During that call, taken personally by Morales from the owner, the suspect was followed into town from the Hare farm shop and officers were unable to locate it once it reached the west end of Hwy. 384 coming into Newport.
During a later call, Cochrane observed a silver Dodge pickup with black trim, matching the description of the suspect vehicle, at the car wash on the north end of Newport. Unable to stop, Cochrane requested Newport Police Department to assist. They sent a unit to check on the vehicle and get identifying information as a possible suspect vehicle. Newport Police Sgt. Shane Rogers advised dispatch of the vehicle information and was advised the license plate was reported stolen out of Forrest City. The driver of the vehicle was John Brazile. During a search of the vehicle, several trailer license plates were found, one belonging to Henson’s trailer. Brazile was then taken into custody.
During questioning at the Jackson County Detention Center, Brazile told officers where the three trailers were located in St. Francis County. Deputies responded to the addresses and were presented with bills of sale that Brazile had given them. Deputy Cochrane, Investigator Aaron Thomas and Captain Ricky Morales traveled to St. Franics County and recovered the trailers.
On March 13, at around 6:10 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office received a call from William Cross who stated he had just located a camper in our county that belonged to him. He stated he was at Grady’s Trailer Park on Jackson Road 1125 outside of Newport.
Upon arrival, Lt. Matt Sanford made contact with Cross who stated that on the previous Saturday, March 10, he and his wife received a call that their trailer had been stolen. Cross County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the incident immediately by the caller, who was advised to have the owners file a report. Cross advised he delayed making the report due to the perceived hopelessness of finding the camper in a condition that warranted collecting it.
Lt. Sanford was able to confirm the trailer was Cross’s by comparing VIN numbers that Cross had. Sanford noted that the camper had been partially painted in an attempt to hide any distinguishable markings.
Next to the stolen camper was another camper which returned to residents of McCrory. Jackson County requested Woodruff County to make contact with the subjects, but they were advised they had moved to White County.
While Lt. Sanford was taking the report, a subject living close-by approached him and gave a physical description of the suspect and his vehicle. He said that the suspect gave him a metal toolbox and showed the officer the box, which was identified as belonging to the camper that was stolen from Cross County and matched a metal frame that was welded onto the back of the camper. He stated that the suspect had taken a large box of papers out of the box and he thought something seemed suspicious when he saw the suspect painting the campers.
Lt. Sanford contacted the owner of the trailer park, Evelyn G. Linville. She advised the officer that in the previous week a John Brazile had contacted her wanting to rent the lot where the two campers were parked. She said that in the following days Grady Henson, who works across the road, had contacted her and asked who lived in the camper and she told him. He had stated to her that he had property stolen and his video surveillance showed it was the same suspect who stole the items. Brazile had been taken into custody for that charge.
Brazile is currently being held at the Jackson County Detention Center on charges of Theft by Receiving and Fictitious Tags with a $5,000 bond. He also has a hold for St. Francis County with pending charges there.