A series of break-ins has resulted in felony charges for four individuals.
On September 8, 2022, 24-year-old Alicia Poteete, 19-year-old Zachary Clair, and 20-year-old Caleb Bridgewater, all of Horseshoe Bend were identified as suspects in a theft that had occurred at a residence located on McNarin Road in Izard County; Shawnna Lynn Wade, 41, also of Horseshoe Bend was also charged.
Investigators Sean Tomlinson and Tyler Webb conducted post-Miranda interviews with Poteete, Clair and Bridgewater.
During the post-Miranda interview with Poteete, it was found that Poteete, Clair, and Bridgewater had also been responsible for at least three thefts and break-ins, in and around Izard County.
Poteete disclosed that although she was unsure of all of the items that had been taken from the properties, she disclosed that the items were either pawned at Salem and Ash Flat Pawn Shops, or were still located at her previous residence located at 1205 Scenic Acres Circle in Horseshoe Bend.
The break-ins consisted of the Antioch Baptist Church theft that was reported on September 4, 2022, where approximately $1,300 worth of items had been stolen, the Myron Baptist Church theft that had been reported on August 29, 2022 where the suspects had stolen a Blue Alvarez guitar with an estimated valued at $1,000 along with other electronic equipment and food items.
Poteete explained that Clair and Bridgewater had pawned the items at pawn shops located in Salem and Ash Flat and explained that the only items she believed were not pawned or sold were the items left at 1205 Scenic Acres Circle.
Clair gave investigators a more detailed recollection of the break-ins and explained that he and the other suspects involved had entered at least two buildings at Antioch Church where they had stolen several items that had a cumulative value of approximately $1,300.
Clair explained that he and the other suspects had entered the church by using a key that had been strategically placed in an area around the entryway of the church building by church elders for church groundskeepers to use to access the building.
Clair also provided a detailed hand sketch of the Myron Baptist Church break-in where he stated he and the other suspects had stolen a guitar, and handheld radios. Entry, he said, was gained with the use of a pry tool.
Clair explained that the guitar had been pawned at a pawn shop located in Salem.
Chief Deputy Charley Melton was able to confirm that the guitar was indeed located at the pawn shop in Salem and was able to have the business secure the stolen item while investigators were questioning Clair.
Investigators then completed a post-Miranda interview with Bridgewater who corroborated statements made by other suspects and identified Shawnna Wade as a fourth suspect involved with the breaking and entering incidents.
Shawnna Wade was also identified by Poteete and Clair as assisting in the thefts of the items in three separate incidents including the Myron Baptist Church break-in, the Antioch Church break-in, and the theft that had occurred at the residence located at McNarin Road.
All four individuals are charged with three counts of breaking and entering and theft of property. All are class D felonies.
During the course of the investigation, it was learned they had broken into another church in an adjoining county. That information has been turned over to those officials.