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Theft leads to APD pursuit

A theft of $700 in power tools landed three men in jail Monday— one of whom fled from the booking room at the Andalusia Police Department.

Lt. Mike Bowlan said a tip from an “alert citizen” clued APD officers into the suspicious activity at 500 Sanford Rd.

“Lt. Paul Dean’s shift received a call from an alert citizen who suspected the property was being burglarized,” Bowlan said. “When Lt. Dean, Sgt. Bailey and Officer Barnes responded, they located three suspects in possession of property that had been removed from the building.”

That property turned out to be $700 in power tools, Bowlan said, and the three were identified as Charles Calvin Harris, 19, Andrew Karl Halford, 20 and John David Halford II, 20.

The three were arrested and charged with second-degree theft of property and third-degree burglary and transported to the APD.

“That’s when (John) Halford decided to attempt to escape from custody,” Bowlan said. “He fled the booking room in handcuffs but was recaptured about 15 minutes later when he was found in an old railroad car near South Three Notch Street. He has subsequently been charged with escape.”

Bowlan thanked the other local law enforcement agencies for their assistance in Halford’s recapture and commended the alert citizen for notifying the authorities.

“It’s good to see everyone involved in this situation,” he said. “The more eyes the better. We’re all on the same team and want to accomplish the same mission.

“In today’s society, the ‘alert citizen’ is a rare find,” he said. “Oftentimes, it seems like we’ve stopped being neighborly. A citizen who is active and watches when property owners are away should be commended. That’s what we need — more people looking out for people.”

Harris and Andrew Halford were booked into the Covington County Jail under a $20,000 bond; and John David Halford was booked under a $30,000 bond.

All the property allegedly stolen was recovered, Bowlan said.