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All suspects are presumed innocent until determined guilty in court.
Hot Springs Police took the report of a stolen 2005 Roadforce utility trailer that was full of the victim’s tools for work on June 18, 2019. The trailer was parked in the area of Higdon Ferry Road when it was stolen.
Garland County Sheriff’s CID Sergeant Cannon and Investigator Ellis developed information that put the trailer parked behind the residence at 1626 Highway 128 and they assisted. They arrived at the residence and met with the resident, Donald Lynn Ripley, 61; and Parolee Jason Andrew Rateliff, 45, of Silica Heights in Benton.
Mr. Ripley allegedly told the deputies that no stolen trailer was on the property and invited them to look. The stolen trailer was allegedly located behind a shop, behind the residence on that property. The VIN plate (with the identifying numbers) and the license plate were both removed from the trailer. The rear hasp was busted, allowing entry into the trailer.
The victim was contacted. He reported to the scene and positively identified his stolen property.
The deputies searched Mr. Rateliff’s vehicle and allegedly found the trailer’s license plate under the driver’s seat.
Mr. Ripley was arrested on an outstanding warrant for Failure To Appear. Mr. Rateliff was arrested in connection to the stolen trailer.
Mr. Ripley was interviewed by HSPD Detective De Foor. He allegedly told the detective that the parolee arrived at his residence that morning. While speaking to him then, Mr. Ripley allegedly says that Parolee Rateliff told him that he parked the trailer behind the shed and that somebody was going to stop by later to look at it.
They were both transported to the Garland County Detention Center and processed. Mr. Ripley is charged with Failure To Appear with a bond amount of $1,000. Mr. Rateliff is charged with Felony Theft By Receiving and Criminal Mischief with a bond amount totaling $6,000 and a parole hold placed.