A string of rural robberies in Hempstead County has spoiled the Christmas holidays for some residents, and brought a cautionary warning from Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton about home security.
Sheriff's investigators are probing three incidents in the Spring Hill, Centerville, and McCaskill areas in the period from Dec. 21-24 in which jewelry, weapons and other items were taken from rural residences and vehicles at rural residences.
Singleton said investigators are working extensively on the theft of “several thousand dollars” in jewelry, weapons, and electronics from a residence at 506 Hempstead County Road 108 on Dec. 21.
“Deputies discovered someone had broken the back door window, and the victim told deputies that he had found several items that had been stolen from inside the residence,” he said.
Singleton said the theft illustrated the importance of maintaining home security, especially during the holiday period when many new items to a residence might be advertised to thieves by boxes and large amounts of gift wrapping items in the trash.
Singleton said numerous items were reported stolen from the residence on HCR 108, including a silver Ruger 357-caliber revolver, model GP-100, with six-inch barrel and “packmyer” design on the hand grip; a gray and black computer monitor; a white and black X-box 360 game console; a black Playstation console; three gold Hope Water and Light employee service pins for 10, 15, and 20 years of employment; two silver Timex wrist watches with black faces and black wrist bands; one gold Rolex wrist watch; two four-inch Buck knives with wooden handles and brass ends; an undetermined number of old coins, pocket knives; a solid silver cup; numerous family photos with frames; and $250 cash.
Other items taken included 10 gold rings, including one with a heart-shaped ruby, one or two diamond solitaire, and one tear-drop and pave diamond; bracelets and other jewelry, including a 14-karat gold bracelet with white gold circles and small gold bars design motif; a 14-karat gold chain necklace with open heart pendant; a flat gold necklace; a 24-inch, 14-karat gold rope chain necklace; three pairs of gold and diamond earrings; and, one pair 14-karat gold earrings with ˝ karat diamond solitaires.
Singleton said it is believed the thief or thieves removed the items in bed coverings which were also taken from the residence.
“We've got some leads on it and the investigators are working on those,” he said.
Singleton said deputies are also investigating the theft of a rifle from a pickup truck at a residence in the 1200 block of Arkansas Highway 195 South, which was taken sometime between Dec. 22-23.
“The victim told Deputy Matt Dunham that he came home from hog hunting around 9 p.m., and he just left all his gear in his truck,” Singleton said. “The victim stated that when he went to his truck the next morning, he noticed his gun was missing.”
Page 2 of 2 - The gun is described as a green model 1600 Howa .270-caliber rifle, with a 3x10 power green Nighteater scope and a model XLR 250 Elusive Wildlife flashlight mounted to the scope.
Deputy Charlie Featherston was called to a residence at 272 Hempstead County Road 36 on Dec. 24 concerning the theft of 36 duck decoys taken from a boat parked near the residence. The decoys were stored in a tan decoy mesh bag and a brown decoy bag, and each decoy was labeled with the owner's name, Singleton said.
“Anyone having information concerning these cases is asked to please call the Hempstead County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division at 870-777-6727,” Singleton said. “Information will be kept confidential.”