The Sentinel-Record

Security video leads to arrest in alleged car theft

- STEVEN MROSS The Sentinel-Record

A Hot Springs Village teen with several recent prior arrests was served with a felony warrant Saturday for the alleged theft of a car at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort after she was reportedly identified through security video.

Alyssa Raines Hoffman, 19, who lists a Pyrenees Way address, was already in custody from her arrest on Feb. 5 for failure to appear and was served shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday with a warrant for theft of property over $5,000, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. She remained in custody Tuesday in lieu of bonds now totaling $7,000.

According to court records, Hoffman was previously arrested on Dec. 15 on a felony charge of theft of property over $5,000, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, involving an alleged incident at the

Hot Springs Country Club.

She pleaded not guilty to the charge in district court on Dec. 16 and was released the next day on a $1,500 bond with a hearing set for Feb. 3, but she reportedly failed to appear so a warrant was issued and she was arrested on Feb. 5.

Hoffman had been arrested on Jan. 3 on a felony charge of residentia­l burglary, punishable by up to 20 years, involving a residence in Hot Springs Village where her grandmothe­r was employed as a housekeepe­r. She pleaded not guilty to the charge on Jan. 4 and was released on a $5,000 bond and is set to appear on March 3 for a review hearing on that charge.

According to the probable cause affidavit on the new theft charge, on Nov. 2, 2022, a man reported he had loaned his red 2015 Hyundai, valued at $12,000, to a female friend so she could have a vehicle to drive. The friend’s sister went to Oaklawn in the car and lost the keys inside the casino, then discovered the car was missing from the parking lot.

Hot Springs police Detective Matthew Cheatham reviewed security video at Oaklawn which showed a female walking through the parking lot with an unknown male subject and it appeared she was looking for a vehicle. After a short time, she located the Hyundai and “appears to unlock it.” After “going through” it briefly, she then is seen driving away in it.

While working on a separate, unrelated case, Cheatham reportedly observed Hoffman to be a suspect in that case. A descriptio­n of the suspect in that case matched the suspect in the Oaklawn incident. Cheatham obtained photos of Hoffman from her driver’s license and Facebook profile and noted she appeared to be wearing the same shirt in a Facebook photo as the suspect was seen wearing in the Oaklawn incident.

By comparing her photos to the security video, Cheatham was reportedly able to identify Hoffman as the one who stole the vehicle, the affidavit states, and a warrant for her arrest was issued Friday.

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