One man was arrested last Saturday and returned to custody on stealing charges, and a second individual is still being sought by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office following an incident last Thursday in the Squires area.
On Thursday, Jan. 5, Sheriff Chris Degase and Deputy Nathan Long responded to a residence on County Road 416 off Highway JJ to attempt to locate a four-wheeler that was stolen from the Douglas County Livestock Auction in late November.
As the officers arrived, they observed a male subject identified as Damon Riley, 32, of Squires, fleeing from the rear of the residence.
Riley was known to have multiple Douglas County warrants against him, including one felony warrant for dangerous drugs from June 2006 when he was arrested for possession of methamphetamine.
With the assistance of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the K-9 team from Ozarks Correctional Center, officers searched for Riley and determined he had been picked up by someone on the nearby county road.
In the meantime, Sgt. Vernon Johnson of the Sheriff’s Department located a green Honda four-wheeler hidden in the brush. The machine was later confirmed to be the one stolen from the livestock auction barn and has been returned to its owners.
Charges for that incident are pending.
Sgt. Johnson continued his investigation and later recovered a four-wheeler that was stolen out of Ozark County.
As officers were leaving the residence on CR 416, Sgt. Johnson observed a male subject later identified as Dwight Haydon Lakey on a dirt bike, on the county road.
Knowing from previous incidents that Lakey did not have a valid operator’s license, Johnson made a traffic stop on the bike. Lakey could not explain where he obtained the dirt bike, nor could he produce owner information on the bike. Lakey was arrested for driving with license suspended and later released. The dirt bike was impounded.
On Saturday, Jan. 7, Deputy Long was dispatched to a burglary report on Airport Road west of Ava. It was reported that the owner of the residence was returning home when she observed a male subject exit the rear door of her residence and take off running. Officers with the Ava Police Department and the Highway Patrol responded to assist Deputy Long, and the subject, identified as Lakey, was found hiding under a nearby trailer.
Lakey, 22, was taken into custody without incident.
Lakey had in his possession numerous items from the residence he was seen leaving, as well as other nearby residences. One neighbor returned to his residence to see if other items were missing, and noticed his dirt bike was missing from his garage. He described the bike and it was determined to be the one impounded by Sgt. Johnson on Jan. 5.
Lakey had recently been released from the Douglas County Jail on bond, on charges stemming from an earlier arrest made by Deputy Long on Oct. 22, 2010, for burglary, tampering with services, possession of burglary tools, and property damage in the second degree; as well as separate charges from Oct. 21, 2010, for burglary and theft/stealing.
Lakey’s new charges include two counts of burglary, stealing a motor vehicle, two counts of felony theft/stealing, and misdemeanor resisting or interfering with an arrest.
Bond was set at $75,000, and the new charges prompted the revocation of Lakey’s bond on the October 2010 charges and he is being held without bond on those two warrants.
“We would like to thank all those agencies that assisted in these two cases and we feel very grateful that we were able to return the two four-wheelers, motorcycle and items stolen from the residences back to their rightful owners,” Sheriff Degase said.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department is still looking for Damon Riley and anyone with information as to his whereabouts is encouraged to call the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at 683-1020. Riley has numerous active warrants for his arrest, the sheriff said.