Arrests made in theft of $20,000 worth of cigarettes from Clay City business
A local business that has been burglarized twice in a month can rest a little easier. Police say they have caught the four people responsible for allegedly stealing $20,000 worth of cigarettes from Gasoline Alley in Clay City.
According to Clay City Police Sgt. James Kirk, police have arrested Barry Crouch, Rocky Higgins, William Creech and Jimmy Saylor and charged them with the crimes. Crouch is from Rockcastle County, Saylor is from Winchester, while Higgins and Creech are from Berea.
The first burglary of the Clay City convenience store and gas station occurred when thieves knocked out a window to the front door of the business on may 1. Kirk said 180 cartons of cigarettes were taken in that burglary.
The second hit came on May 25. The same method of entry, but this time 192 cartons of cigarettes were taken. “At about $47 per carton, you can see how that adds up pretty quickly,” Kirk said.
The store has surveillance cameras and police reviewed the tapes in hopes of identifying the burglars. It paid off.
“We got a tip from a sister of one of the men and just used good old fashioned police work from there,” Kirk stated when asked how police were able to find the men. “It appears the four have been doing this from Newport to here, to Danville, Lancaster, Georgetown and even in Menifee County,” Kirk added. “When we went to arrest two of them in a motel, we found a pair of shoes that matched the ones we saw on the videotape belonging to one of the thieves.”
According to police Crouch confessed to the first hit on Gasoline Alley, but he was in jail on other charges when the second burglary occurred. “He told us he was part of it. Creech also confessed to the first burglary,” Kirk said. “Mr. Saylor admitted to being involved in both burglaries. As for Higgins, he isn’t saying anything to us.”
Kirk told the Times that police believe the men were stealing the cigarettes and selling them to a store in Richmond. “They were taking them to, I believe it is called North Side Shell in Richmond and selling them,” Kirk said.
Saylor was arrested in Winchester last week. Creech and Higgins were found at the Knights Inn in Richmond. All three of them are incarcerated in the Clark County Detention Center according to Kirk. Crouch is lodged in the Powell County Detention Center.