An Alton, Mo., man faces additional charges in connection with the burglary of a Hardy saddle shop Christmas night.
Leavy D. Moore, 41, is charged with commercial burglary and theft of property in connection with the burglary at Circle H Saddle Shop.
The store was broken into after thieves gained entry into the store by prying open the metal front door, damaging the bolt lock, Hardy Police Chief Ernie Rose said. Four saddles were stolen along with assorted tack with an estimated value of $1,315. A Fulton County shop, Agnos Boot and Saddle Repair, and a saddle shop in Lawrence County were also burglarized near the same time.
Moore was arrested Jan. 6 in Oregon County, Mo. He pleaded guilty to five counts of residential burglary in Missouri and received a five-year prison term Jan. 21, Rose said.
He awaits extradition to Arkansas for the additional charges, Rose said.The day Moore was arrested, his wife, Velinda Moore, told Oregon County Sheriff Tim Ward that Moore had recently brought home four saddles he said he had purchased from Circle H Saddle Shop in Hardy.
One of the saddles was still at the Moore residence and it was identified as one stolen from the Hardy store. Rose said he received a call Jan. 17 from the Howell County, Mo., Sheriff's Office regarding several saddles found near Mountain View, Mo., by Eugene McCord, owner of Agnos Boot and Saddle Repair.
Rose and Circle H owner Jack Huffmaster met officers and traveled to the Mountain View saddle shop belonging to Johnny Brooks.
Brooks showed officers four saddles he said he purchased from Moore around Dec. 27 for $300. All the saddles were in need of repair, Rose said.
Huffmaster identified two of the saddles as those stolen from his shop. The other two saddles matched the description of two of four saddles that were stolen Dec. 23 from the Lawrence County saddle shop, Rose said.
Brooks told police Moore sold another saddle to a man in a convenience store parking lot in Mountain View, Rose said.
Police met with the other buyer and identified the saddle he purchased as the last saddle that was stolen from the Hardy shop.
After Moore's sentencing Jan. 21, Rose met with him and his court appointed attorney. Moore told Rose he would tell him about the Hardy robbery, but denied any knowledge of the Agnos burglary; however, police said the three robberies are probably connected.
"Fulton County Sheriff's Department reports that along with the fact that both stores were broken into with what appears to be the same tool, they have interviewed a witness that described the Moore vehicle being at the saddle shop in Fulton County the night it was burglarized," Rose said.
Rose said Moore's attorney stopped the interview and advised Moore not to speak until Moore spoke with an attorney from Arkansas.
All four saddles have been returned to Huffmaster along with some tack that was stolen during the burglary.
Eight saddles stolen during the three robberies are still unaccounted for.
None of the six saddles, valued at $3,050, stolen from the Agnos shop have been located at this time, Rose said.
The Lawrence County shop was entered after a window was broken. Thieves stole four saddles and several pairs of boots from the store.
The investigation is continuing.