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Izard County deputies busy with thefts

Thursday, July 26, 2007

An Izard County man is being held in the Izard County Detention Facility after allegedly burglarizing a Melbourne residence and a Melbourne business and church the following night.

Kerr Anthony Mejia, 19, of Melbourne is facing two counts of residential burglary, a class B felony; one felony count of commercial burglary, a class C felony; and three theft of property charges, according to Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence.

Lawrence said, July 11 a resident of Quail Run Apartments contacted the sheriff's office and reported a JVC stereo and a 13 inch television was taken from the apartment.

The following day around 8:30 a.m., Brian Baird, owner of Western Auto, contacted Izard County authorities to report his business had been broken into, said Izard County Deputy Charles Melton.

Baird told Melton $72 in rolled change was missing from his office, as well as a carton of Camel No. 9 cigarettes, three boxes of Al Capone dipped cigars and approximately $322 worth of merchandise, Melton said.

The deputies questioned area banks to see if anyone had recently cashed rolled coins. Melton said employees at BancorpSouth and First National Banking Company provided video tape confirming that Mejia had brought rolled coins to both businesses.

While Melton was investigating Western Auto, a member of the Melbourne United Methodist Church called authorities to report a break-in at the church. The individual said a screen had been removed from a window and things were moved, but only about $25 was missing.

On July 13 authorities learned from a male juvenile that Mejia was allegedly selling Camel cigarettes in town for $2 a pack.

Authorities went to the house where Mejia had been residing and were allowed to come inside by the home owner, Melton said.

Inside Mejia's room, Melton said he and Chief Deputy Earnie Blackley found a trash bag containing several empty cigarette cartons and a bill with Brian Baird's name on it.

After locating these items in Mejia's room, authorities conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle he was operating. Inside the vehicle deputies found a bag containing 21 various packages of cigarettes, two boxes of cigars, seven lighter and 10 packages of rolling papers, Melton said.

As of press time Mejia was being held in th Izard County Detention Facility in lieu of a $50,000 bond.

A Calico Rock woman is facing felony drug charges after violating parole conditions by crossing the border into Mexico.

Christina J. Peveto, 22, was charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, a class C felony after being arrested July 10, according to Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence.

Around 11:15 p.m. on July 10, Izard County Deputy J.T. Baker was patrolling along Highway 69 when he performed a traffic stop on a vehicle occupied by Paul Peveto and Christina Peveto, he said.

While running a check on the pair, Baker said he learned Christina was wanted on bond revocation. When he went to question Peveto regarding the matter, Baker said he saw Peveto remove something from the console of the vehicle.

Baker said he asked to search the vehicle and located a small plastic bag containing a green vegetable matter between the front passenger's seat and console. He said he also found a backpack in the front floorboard containing a prescription pill bottle holding two types of narcotics, an unused syringe and a credit/debit card that did not belong to either Paul or Christina.

Around 4:35 p.m. the following day, Peveto told authorities she and a friend had taken her father's Tahoe on July 1 and traveled to Matamoras, Mexico and stayed there a few days. On her way home, Peveto said her friend had been arrested for cocaine possession and for being in the vehicle her father reported stolen, Baker said.

He said Peveto told him she had packed everything, including her friend's drugs and the debit card in her bag.

The following day on July 12, Baker said he learned the the debit/credit card in Peveto's possession had been reported stolen along with the owner's purse on July 1.

As of press time Peveto is being held in the Izard County Detention Facility.

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