Al­leged car thief caught with hand­gun, drugs

The Sentinel-Record - - FRONT PAGE - STEVEN MROSS

An al­leged car thief was ar­rested on mul­ti­ple felony charges Thurs­day morn­ing af­ter be­ing chased down by the car’s owner and Hot Springs po­lice and re­port­edly be­ing found with a gun and drugs.

Tyler Allen Baker, 28, who lists a Green­wood Av­enue ad­dress, was taken into cus­tody around 9 a.m. and charged with si­mul­ta­ne­ous possession of drugs and a firearm, pun­ish­able by up to life in prison, possession of meth with pur­pose to de­liver, pun­ish­able by up to 10 years, two counts of possession of a con­trolled sub­stance with pur­pose to de­liver and one count of theft of prop­erty, pun­ish­able by up to six years.

Baker, who also had a mis­de­meanor war­rant for theft of prop­erty, was be­ing held on zero bond and ap­peared Fri­day in Gar­land County

Dis­trict Court.

Ac­cord­ing to the probable cause af­fi­davit on the felony charges, shortly be­fore 8:30 a.m. Thurs­day, Of­fi­cer Ja­son

Greene spot­ted a yel­low Ford Ranger truck east­bound on East Grand Av­enue ap­proach­ing Cen­tral Av­enue that sud­denly made an il­le­gal turn, cut­ting off sev­eral other ve­hi­cles, as it pulled into the Exxon, 1200 Cen­tral.

A check of the Ranger’s li­cense plate showed it re­turned to the same ad­dress of a man who had re­ported an­other ve­hi­cle, a 2006 Chrysler Paci­fica, stolen ear­lier that morn­ing. The male driver of the Ranger quickly ran

into the Exxon sta­tion.

Greene turned around and po­si­tioned him­self to watch the ve­hi­cle when the driver of the Ranger ex­ited the Exxon fol­low­ing a white male, later iden­ti­fied as Baker. When the driver saw Greene he be­gan wav­ing his arms for the of­fi­cer to come over. At that point, Baker also saw Greene and be­gan run­ning south on Cen­tral with the driver in pur­suit.

Of­fi­cers, us­ing lights and sirens, joined the pur­suit and ap­pre­hended Baker in the park­ing lot of the Econolodge, 1204 Cen­tral, and the Ranger driver told Greene Baker was the one he had seen driv­ing his stolen Chrysler.

Asked if he had any­thing on him, Baker re­port­edly stated he had drugs in his pocket. A plas­tic bag­gie of al­leged meth, two pill bot­tles with 17 dar­vo­cet pills and 50 propoxyphene pills, both a sched­ule IV con­trolled sub­stance, were found in his pock­ets along with the keys to the stolen Chrysler and a debit card be­long­ing to the car owner.

When ques­tioned later at the po­lice depart­ment, Baker al­legedly ad­mit­ted to steal­ing the Chrysler, val­ued at $1,500, from a res­i­den­tial area ear­lier that morn­ing. He also ad­mit­ted a .32-cal­iber pis­tol that was found in the Chrysler be­longed to him.

Ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit on the mis­de­meanor theft charge, on Nov. 20, shortly be­fore 4 p.m., Of­fi­cer Taylor Gates re­sponded to Amaz­ing Finds, 4332 Cen­tral Ave., where an em­ployee told him that around 3 p.m. she no­ticed a sil­ver Seiko wrist­watch, val­ued at $50, was miss­ing from the store’s in­ven­tory.

She said she had seen the watch ear­lier in her shift. She re­viewed se­cu­rity footage which showed a white male con­ceal­ing the watch and leav­ing the store shortly be­fore 1 p.m.

On Nov. 21, Baker al­legedly posted the same watch for sale on a so­cial me­dia mar­ket­place. Gates was able to com­pare a driver’s li­cense photo of Baker to the male seen tak­ing the watch in the video and con­firm it was him.


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