From the desk of Sheriff Scott Bradley and Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hidland
On November 27, 2012, Investigators with The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department were in theDamascusarea following up on an investigation of several cases of theft in that area. Damascus Police, assisted by Arkansas State Police and Arkansas Highway Police were at Pleasant Ridge apartments where they had received information that a stolen truck was parked. Sheriff’s Investigators arrived minutes later to find that the stolen truck was one that was the subject of a theft report in the early morning hours of this same day.
Perryville Police had been involved in a pursuit of a suspect, believed to be Billy J. Rowell of Bee Branch, where Rowell was believed to be breaking in cars and stealing contents. Rowell fled on foot, leaving a stolen vehicle in the area. The vehicle was reported stolen from Double D Oilfield Services, along with other items, on November 10, 2012. Rowell then stole another truck while avoiding Perryville Police, a red Ford F150, and drove it toDamascuswhere it was found that morning. When law enforcement attempted to make contact with Rowell, he went out a bedroom window, onto the roof of Pleasant Ridge apartments where he ran and jumped off the roof. Rowell then fled on foot through a field through a yard of a residence where he was caught and apprehended by pursuing Officers .
Billy J. Rowell, 23, of Bee Branch is currently facing multiple felony charges in Van Buren,BooneCountyandMarionCounties. Rowell has Felony charges inMarionCountyand has been given a $25,000 bond on those charges. He is currently being held on a $20,000 bond for Felony Theft by Receiving and Fleeing for theDamascusincident. More Felony charges are expected in Van Buren County as the investigation continues. All total, Rowell is a suspect in thefts or attempted thefts involving 13 Felony thefts and 2 misdemeanor thefts throughout Van Buren County, but mostly in the Bee Branch/Damascus area. Rowell also has a probation hold out ofFaulknerCountyat this time with a “no bond” status.
In November there were the following thefts reported:
November 10, 2012 - Double D Oilfield Services reported a 2004 Ford Truck and equipment items stolen. This was the vehicle found in Perryville on 11/17
November 14, 2012 - Wayne Holden reported a 2005 Ford F350 (valued at $35,000) stolen. This truck was recovered by Sheriffs Deputies in the Bee Branch area.
November 14, 2012 – Dayco Construction reported a 20ft goose neck stock trailer stolen. It is believed by investigators that the persons responsible for the Wayne Holden theft also stole the gooseneck trailer.
November 17, 2012 – Clinton Business, PEH, reported that they had several thousand dollars in rolled copper wire stolen. Investigators with the Sheriff’s Department believe the truck stolen from Double D Oilfield Services was used in this theft. There will be multiple Felony charges filed in this case in the days to come. Investigators are still working this investigation as well as others that Rowell could have been a part of. All of the aforementioned reports can be tied back to Rowell as either the main suspect or as receiving the stolen property.
Sheriff Scott Bradley adds: “With as many Felony Thefts and Felony Thefts by Receiving that we can prove he either committed or was involved with, this investigation will take several weeks to conclude. This should slow down our thefts in the Bee Branch area as well as other counties.”