Investigators Recover More Than One Dozen Off-Road Vehicles Stolen Across North Alabama

Northeast Alabama
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FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) -- DeKalb and Jackson County investigators displayed a half-dozen all-terrain four-wheel vehicles and four motorbikes outside the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office Friday morning.

Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips said thieves took more than a dozen vehicles from homes in Scottsboro, Florence, Guntersville, and Boaz over the past three weeks.

"One of our deputies was very observant the other night, got a vehicle description and turned some information over to an investigator," Phillips said.

Scottsboro Police stopped 25-year-old Justin Allen Coffey, of Scottsboro, for an open container violation Thursday morning, and connected him to the burglaries.

Investigators later arrested 19-year-old Robert Tyler Whiting of Pisgah.

Coffey and Whiting are charged with four counts of receiving stolen property; two counts each from the Fort Payne Police Department and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office.

Phillips and Harris said investigators obtained information the thieves took the stolen items to DeKalb County, and deputies found vehicles at three locations in the Fort Payne area.

"The message to send out is if you commit a theft, a burglary, or any other crime, we're going to catch you. It may take a day or two or a week or two, but eventually we're going to catch you," Sheriff Phillips said.

Investigators said the suspects drove around during the day looking for all-terrain vehicles and motorbikes in yards and driveways, and returned at night to take them.

Sheriff Phillips said the thieves were holding them to re-sell later.

Investigators said the pair began to steal the off-road vehicles in January, and the investigation is ongoing and may result in more charges and suspects.

Investigators are trying to track down some other vehicles they said the suspects sold.

"We're pleased that we've been able to recover so far all but one of our stolen items, four-wheelers and motorcycles," Scottsboro police investigator Scott Matthews said.

"We've got one motorcycle that's still unaccounted before," he said.

As Fort Payne Police looked Friday for that final piece of stolen property, officers recovered a pair of motorcycles reported stolen in Guntersville and Boaz.

"I do want to send out a message is if anybody has recently purchased an ATV of some sort, a 4-wheeler or motorcycle maybe they got it for a real cheap price," Phillips said.

"If they've maybe bought something from them, we would like them to contact us."

Deputies identified all of the recovered vehicles and are working to notify the owners.

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