Two Butler County Men Arrested in Car Break-ins, Theft Cases
Greenville Police arrested two Butler County men they believe are responsible for several car break-ins in Greenville, Prattville, and Millbrook.
Twenty-three-year-old Kevin Phillips and 24-year-old James Thomas were arrested late Sunday night. The men are facing multiple felony breaking and entering charges and misdemeanor and felony theft charges. Police say the men stole 15 large coolers, a set of golf clubs, a suitcase, assorted tools, and a small handgun from cars over the past two weeks.
The estimated value of the items the pair allegedly stole totals around $10,000.
“It hasn’t happened too much around here,” says Greenville Investigator Joe Disney. “I’m sure that… These coolers are very expensive. Anything that you find like that is pretty much going to be a hot item to steal. Until recently we haven’t had too many of them being stolen out of vehicles like this.”
Disney says the duo drove to hotels and restaurant parking lots around the city and looked into the back of pickup trucks. If they saw a cooler or something of interest, he says they just reached in to grab it. In some cases, the coolers were strapped into the truck bed. Those straps had been cut before the coolers were stolen.
Some items were also taken from Millbrook and Prattville in the same way. Officers from the city were able to identify several missing items that were removed from Phillips and Thomas’ homes.
“Because of these cities and the people who commit these crimes travel from city to city, we have to be able to work with each other and help identify these people and identify the property,” says
Investigator Mike Smith from Prattville.
Even though Disney says the crime isn’t common for the area, he does encourage any person who keeps valuable items in their cars to use caution. He says if you have to keep something valuable in your truck bed or car, make sure you know it’s yours.
“Some type of permanent marker, write names, addresses, write something on there that you can easily identify,” he says. “Some people have tried to put stickers on them, but as we’ve seen with this, the offenders pulled the stickers off.”
Disney is still trying to find the owners of some of the stolen property. If think you or anyone you know was targeted by the two men, you can call the Greenville Police Department at (334) 382 – 7461 and ask to speak with an investigator.