Many locals are familiar with the historic buggy owned by Donald Qualls of Hardy. Qualls offers rides in his horse drawn buggy for a donation in the city, allowing many to experience the beauty of the area from a unique perspective; one not feasible from a motor vehicle.
On April 10, Qualls reported to the Hardy Police Department that he had been robbed by one of his riders.
In a report obtained from the Hardy Police Department, Hardy Police Chief Ernie Rose said a hispanic or cuban rider had stolen the money out of Qualls donation bag located on the back of the buggy.
Qualls said the rider told him he was from Florida and living in Cherokee Village with his father.
On April 5, Rose contacted probation and parole officer Dennis Burton with the suspect's description after he could not identify a person in the Hardy area fitting the description given by Qualls.
Burton informed Rose he had a male parolee who fit the description and later brought a photograph of the potential suspect who lived behind the White Oak Station in Hardy to Rose.
Sharp County Detective David Huffmaster made a photo lineup and Qualls then came to the police station to identify the suspect.
After viewing the line up, Quall's identified Gerald Digrazie, 41, of Hardy. Within 20 minutes of making the identification, Hardy police officers Jeremy Rose and Ashton Hester brought Digrazie to the station where he was read his rights and he gave a written confession to the crime.
Degrazie said he spent most of what he said was $45 he had taken on beer, while Qualls maintains there was around $70 in the container.
Degrazie was charged with theft of property and taken to the Sharp County Jail.