Felon arrested for alleged theft of vehicle, reportedly ‘just needed a ride to Walmart’
A felon on parole was arrested Friday morning for the alleged theft of a vehicle after reportedly telling a witness he “just needed a ride to Walmart.”
Craig Alan Bass, 35, who lists a Lakeland Drive address, was taken into custody around 10 a.m. at Walmart, 4019 Central Ave., and charged with a felony count of theft of property over $1,000, punishable by up to six years in prison.
Bass was later released on a $2,500 bond and is set to appear on Feb. 14 in Garland County District Court. According to court records, he was convicted in 2015 of theft of property over $5,000 and sentenced to 10 years’ supervised probation; in 2018 of theft of property over $1,000 and sentenced to four years in prison, but later paroled; and on July 27, 2021, for theft by receiving over $5,000 and theft of property over $1,000 and sentenced to three years in prison, but later paroled.
According to the probable cause affidavit, shortly before 9 a.m. Friday, Hot Springs police Officer Matthew Maughan responded to the Walmart regarding a stolen red 2011 Kia Soul that had been located there.
The vehicle, valued at $3,500, was found unoccupied in the parking lot and had been reported stolen around 7:45 a.m. that morning. Officers reviewed security footage at the store and observed a white male, later identified as Bass, exiting the vehicle and going into the store.
Walmart staff advised Bass was possibly still in the store and officers searched and found him near the garden center. He was taken into custody and taken to the police department for questioning.
A witness who had located the vehicle at Walmart reportedly told police he had spoken to Bass earlier that morning in the 200 block of Lakeland and Bass told him he “just needed a ride to Walmart.” Based on that, the witness decided to check Walmart after the vehicle was discovered stolen.
Detective Matthew Cheatham interviewed Bass after reading him his rights and asked about the stolen car and he reportedly stated, “I feel like I’m screwing myself if I tell the truth.” He asked to go outside to smoke and once out there “in an unrecorded environment,” he reportedly stated he had found the keys inside the car which was unlocked.
He reportedly stated he “only drove it to Walmart and was going to leave it there.”
The distance from the 200 block of Lakeland to the Walmart on Central is less than a mile.