Confession solves more burglaries says sheriff
A Highland man's confession of robbing a local pharmacy at gunpoint did more than just solve an armed robbery, it solved numerous burglaries throughout the area, Sheriff Dale Weaver said.
Kirby Melton Booth Jr., 49, remains in the Sharp County jail in lieu of a $125,000 bond, charged with robbing Hill's Drug Store in Highland Oct. 15, but he is now charged with a whole lot more.
He now faces three counts of residential burglary, four counts of breaking and entering and three counts of theft of property in Sharp County alone in connection with robberies in three homes in Ozark Acres, two homes in Highland and one home on Martin Creek Road, Sharp County Det. Sgt. David Huffmaster said. He is also linked to five burglaries in Fulton County and another in Randolph County, Weaver said. Some of the homes he allegedly broke into belonged to members of a church he used to attend.
Booth allegedly broke into the Sharp County homes by kicking in a door. Once inside he rummaged through the homes and stole prescription medications in most instances, Huffmaster said, adding that in some cases he didn't steal anything.
When police arrested Booth at White River Medical Center in Batesville Oct. 22, where he was treated for a leg wound he claimed occurred when a cartridge exploded in a campfire, he willingly confessed to the burglaries, Weaver said. Booth was released from the hospital and into the custody of Sharp County Oct. 25.
Highland Police Chief Bea Sharp had been trying to locate Booth for more than two weeks for questioning into the burglaries in Highland, she said. Because of his known drug habit, he immediately became a primary suspect in Hill's robbery, she said.
Booth allegedly went to Hill's around 12:57 p.m. Oct. 15 and pulled a gun on pharmacist Max Hill, demanding Percocet. With a partially covered semi-automatic handgun, pointed at him, Hill followed the robber's demands. The weapon, a BB gun, was later found in Salem near a pharmacy, Sharp said.
Booth had been lying low for a week after the pharmacy. He had rented a home in Cherokee Village with a sister's credit card the day before the robbery. He left Oct. 18 and is thought to have camped in the woods near his home in Highland.
Booth is charged with aggravated robbery using a weapon, a class Y felony, in the commercial robbery. Class Y felonies are punishable by up to life in prison.