Cocaine motive for local thefts

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 25, 2010

A couple arrested Wednesday for two separate “smash and grabs” at a local business told police “cocaine was a motive for the thefts.”

Sgt. Ray Dixon said Thursday, two separate vehicle break-ins – one from June 12 and another on June 21 – at a local business parking lot where electronics were stolen from inside the vehicle.

“Through our investigation using video surveillance, investigators learned that it was the same two individuals on both cases,” Dixon said.

The two were identified as John Odekirk, 20, of Andalusia, and Tiffany Morrow, 21, of Atlanta.

“Investigators also recovered some of the stolen electronics and returned to one of the owners,” Dixon said. “It was learned during the interviews that money to acquire cocaine was the motive for the thefts.”

Dixon said investigators were able to learn the identity and whereabouts of the couple through the assistance of the Covington County Sheriff’s Office.

Both Odekirk and Morrow are charged with two counts of auto burglary and two counts of third-degree theft of property and booked in the county Jail under a $26,000 bond each.

In an unrelated incident, one stolen vehicle has landed four Andalusia men and one Repton man in jail after the group allegedly sold its scraps at a local scrap metal business.

Dixon said a KB Blazer was stolen on May 27 from an E. Three Notch residence and was allegedly taken by Michael Ward, 21; Brandon Crittenden, 24; Thomas Eric Bush, 29; and Michael McCabe, 25, all of Andalusia. Each were arrested June 3 and charged with first-degree theft of property and booked into jail under a $20,000 bond.

The four allegedly sold the vehicle for $300.30, Dixon said.

Last Wednesday, it was discovered that some employee’s of the local scrap metal business were advised the vehicle was stolen shortly after buying it.

After employees reported the stolen vehicle had been crushed and that no parts removed, it was later discovered that someone removed a motor and transmission to sell.

Dixon said Shannon Cooper, 41, of Repton, was arrested June 17 in conjunction with the case and other arrests will be forthcoming in the future.