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All suspects are presumed innocent until determined guilty in court.
Hot Springs Police took a theft report at a cell tower site in the 3800 Block of Central Avenue last weekend. The total value of the stolen climbing equipment is estimated at $4,000.
HSPD Detective Jessup was assigned to investigate the case. Det. Jessup immediately began searching pawn shop records and found where the exact, missing climbing gear had been pawned at a local pawn shop. He went to the business, met with employees and watched video of the alleged transaction. The video is said to show that Jason Andrew Smith, 42, of Mineral Street in Hot Springs, enters the shop with another man and the stolen climbing gear.
An employee at the pawn shop allegedly claims that Mr. Smith said he did not have his ID on him at the time of the transaction and asked his buddy to use his ID to pawn the items; and, that’s allegedly what happened.
Det. Jessup took pictures of the stolen gear, went back to the job site and met with the victim of the theft. The victim allegedly positively identified the gear as what was stolen. The victims’ names were reportedly written on some of the gear.
Det. Jessup was able to compare a known photo of Mr. Smith to the video images from the pawn shop at the time of the alleged transaction. Mr. Smith was positively identified.
Det. Jessup swore out warrants for the arrest of Mr. Smith and went looking for him. Mr. Smith, at the time (10 days after this theft), was an inmate locked up in the Garland County Detention Center. Det. Jessup was also able to figure out that Mr. Smith had been issued a No Contact Order stemming from an alleged prior theft from this very same pawn shop. Mr. Smith allegedly violated the No Contact Order by showing up again at this pawn shop.
Mr. Smith is charged with Felony Theft By Receiving, Violation Of A No Contact Order and Unlawful Transfer of Stolen Property To A Pawn Shop Or Pawnbroker with a bond amount totaling $4,500.
Any possible charges for Mr. Smith’s ID buddy was not specified in the police report.