According to an incident report from the Hardy Police Department, Rhonda Messer, of Hardy discovered activity on her accounts the morning of April 29 after being on the computer. Messer then checked her purse and found her wallet was missing. She told Hardy Police Chief Ernie Rose, her wallet, a new checkbook, $10 in cash, three credit cards and receipts were missing. According to Messer, who owns Kozy Kandles in Hardy, the wallet was stolen in the store while on surveillance tapes. Rose later reviewed the tapes and discovered the perpetrator to be a man and woman.
After searching online, Messer learned her cards had been used the previous day at a business in Ash Flat Citgo, Fin and Fur Sport Shop and the Beverage Shoppe, both in Thayer,Mo. Rose then went to the Thayer Police Department to watch the surveillance tape from the theft and the suspects were wearing the same clothing as when they committed the crime in the Kozy Kandles store. Rose then took the video to various law enforcement agencies with no results in identifying the suspects.
According to Rose, on May 6, Rose showed the video to a person who identified the woman as Kendra Hinds. Rose also showed the person a photo of the woman on his phone and he again identified her as being Hinds. The suspect returned a call to Rose at 12:30 admitting to throwing the wallet from the vehicle after using the credit cards in Thayer. She said she threw it in a creek on Highway 63 on the way back from Thayer. Rose attempted to locate the wallet but was unsuccessful. The report indicates Hinds husband Benjamin later called Rose and told him they would turn themselves in May 9 when they got back into town. Rose explained if they did not follow through, he would have warrants issued for their arrests.
The couple turned themselves into Rose May 9 at the Hardy Police Department. They each were read their rights and provided the chief with voluntary statements confessing to the theft and disposal of the property. Mr. Hinds told Rose he assisted his wife in the crime by distracting the Messer's while his wife stole the wallet. The couple then bought gas at Ash Flat and went to Thayer where they made the purchases before flinging the wallet into Gut Creek on the way home that night.
Mrs. Hinds admitted to throwing away a knife and boots purchased with the cards in a dumpster in a in Melbourne May 5. Rose searched the vehicle and motel room with the suspects permission and was unable to find anything relevant to the crime. The couple were cited for theft of property and given a mandatory court appearance for June 2 in Sharp County.