APD back from Texas with stolen property

Published 8:55 pm Thursday, March 5, 2009

The nearly $17,000 in items stolen with a series of counterfeit checks passed by a Texas woman in October was returned to property owners Thursday.

Lt. Mike Bowlan of the Andalusia Police Department traveled to Polk County, Texas, to retrieve the $14,000 Kubota diesel tractor with a front-end loader stolen from First Choice Equipment Rental, a $1,875 utility trailer from Jackson Honda and two $700 32-inch flat screen televisions from Sears over a two-day period last October.

During Graham’s two-day shopping spree, she allegedly purchased several items throughout the state using counterfeit checks before finally being apprehended by law enforcement Feb. 25.

On Monday, Bowlan, with the assistance of Drug Task Force agent Paul Hudson, went to Texas to retrieve the stolen property.

While there, Bowlan said he spoke to the woman allegedly responsible for the thefts — 66-year-old Catherine Boyd Graham of Cleveland, Texas.

“I had the opportunity to talk to her while I was there,” he said. “She admitted to me that she did it.”

And while Bowlan did not comment on Graham’s alleged motivation behind the crime, he did say once she arrives in Alabama she will face a multitude of charges from a number of law enforcement agencies.

“I know that she has some outstanding debt in Texas that must be cleared first (before her extradition), but she will come to Covington County,” he said. “We were very lucky to be able to recover the property as quickly. The people in Polk County and the Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force, they did an outstanding job — dropped everything to help us with this case.”

Locally, Graham is charged with four counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument, one count of first-degree theft of property and two counts of second-degree theft of property. Once she arrives, she will be held under a $400,000 bond.

Additionally, she will face similar charges in Monroeville, Atmore, Brewton, East Brewton, Escambia County, Mobile County and possibly Butler and Lowndes County, Bowlan said.