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Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015

Hitchhiker charged with theft of DTF agent's pistol

Thursday, September 2, 2004

Staff Writer

Investigators following leads Aug. 27 in the shooting death of a Manila man in Fulton County recovered a firearm stolen from the 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force.

Fulton County Sheriff Lloyd Martz said David Burch, 49, of Salem was hitchhiking when a 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force officer picked him up and offered him a ride.

During the trip Burch stole a semi-automatic handgun from the officer, Martz said.

Burch has been charged with theft of property, a class C felony.

According to Arkansas State Police, investigators discovered the stolen gun after interviewing Burch in connection with the Aug. 26 death of David Stone.

During Burch's interview, Arkansas State Police Investi-gator Marc Hollingsworth said Burch admitted to possessing a semi-automatic gun. Hollings-worth said Burch gave investigators several inconsistent statements as to how he came into possession of the firearm.

Hollingsworth said first Burch said the gun was a gift. Burch quickly changed that story and said he stole it from a Drug Task Force vehicle as a joke, Hollings-worth said.

Burch later told investigators he didn't know how he came into possession of the gun.

He then gave officials consent to retrieve the gun from his residence. A check of the semi-automatic handgun's serial number revealed the gun was the stolen DTF firearm.

Bond for Burch was set at $10,000. He posted bond Aug. 30. Burch is slated to appear before Circuit Court Judge Tim Weaver Sept. 7 in Fulton County Circuit Court.

Officials would not comment as to what connection, if any, Burch has in the shooting death of Stone.

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