Inmate arrested for two felony charges
James O’Brien Spears
By Christa Jennings
An inmate in custody at the Coosa County Jail in Rockford was arrested on additional charges while still in custody.
On May 1, a report was filed at the Sheriff’s Office for an inmate destroying jail property, specifically tearing up sleeping mats.
At approximately the same time this report was filed, another inmate sent a message through the jail system’s kiosk asking them to check his account balance. He reportedly had approximately $20 on his account, but when he checked it he saw that it had decreased to about 50 cents.
While investigating this matter, it was discovered that multiple calls had been placed under that inmate’s account by the same inmate who allegedly destroyed jail property.
On May 7, 22-year-old James O’Brien Spears of the Cottage Grove community was arrested and charged with identity theft and destruction of property by an inmate. Both are felony charges.
His bonds were set at $5,000 per charge, making his total bond $10,000. As of press time, he remained in custody at the Coosa County Jail.
On Monday, May 14, Spears’ probation was also revoked for probation violation.
Anyone who suspects or observes illegal activity is encouraged to report it to the Coosa County Sheriff’s Office at 256-377-4922 or online at www.coosacountyso.org. Anonymous tips are also welcome.
Alexander City man arrested for Equality burglary, theft
Gregory Earl Thomas
By Christa Jennings
An Alexander City man was arrested last week on burglary and theft charges related to two separate cases.
On April 24 and April 26, the Sheriff’s Office took reports from two different victims in the Equality area. One of the reports was for the theft from an Equality business, Gypsy Soul.
During the initial investigation, upon speaking with the store owner and a witness, the owner provided information that an individual had been hanging around her shop the day of the burglary. She reported that he appeared to be under the influence of drugs while he was perusing her shop.
Later, a witness had found some items around his yard that appeared to be from the Gypsy Soul business. A deputy returned those items to the shop owner.
It was learned that the suspect was in the witness’s yard the night of the burglary. The witness stated that the suspect appeared to be pulling something.
Information was further gained from the witness that the suspect’s name was Gregory Earl Thomas. The witness was able to determine the name of the suspect because reportedly Thomas previously lived in the Equality community.
The burglary that occurred on April 26 was also near the business that was burglarized.
During further investigation, it was determined that 37-year-old Thomas of Alexander City was the suspect in both cases.
On May 16, Thomas was arrested and charged with third-degree burglary and second-degree theft of property for the business case, as well as third-degree burglary and fourth-degree theft of property for theft from a shed near the business. Most items from both burglaries were recovered.
Thomas’s bonds were set at $25,000 for each burglary charge; $10,000 for the second-degree theft charge; and $2,000 for the fourth-degree theft charge, making his total bond amount $62,000.
As of press time, he remained in custody at the Coosa County Jail in Rockford awaiting trial. At the time of his arrest, he was out on bond with two other agencies.
Anyone who suspects or observes illegal activity is encouraged to report it to the Sheriff’s Office at 256-377-4922 or online at www.coosacountyso.org. Anonymous tips are also welcome.