Traffic stop leads investigators to items from thefts in three counties
GREEN FOREST -- During a routine traffic stop, Green Forest police solved several theft cases in three counties and wrapped up a five-month investigation on a missing van.
The suspect in the thefts remains at-large.
On Dec. 29, Officer Shannon Hill stopped driver Suwanna Mastafa for a possible drunk driving offense. Hill said she then told him that there was a stolen welder at her brother, Kelley Disheroon's house on County Road 956.
According to the police report, Hill was unable to find the welder upon first arriving at the residence.
Police said Kelley later confessed to not only hiding the stolen welder at his neighbor's house, but that he also had a drill press and a band saw. He told police that a Green Forest resident had asked him to store the tools.
According to police, Kelley said he hid the welder after his mother, Joyce Disheroon, heard the traffic stop over her scanner and called to warn him.
The next day, Hill turned the investigation over to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) headed by Sergeant Brad Handley.
"The welder, which was valued at $4,500, was stolen from a business in Omaha," said Handley, "and it was returned."
Once the police collaborated with area authorities, they realized that the as-yet-unnamed suspect was wanted in Boone County for questioning in the theft of the exact description of the drill press and band saw located at Kelley's residence.
"We also found a chainsaw that Kelley said he bought from the suspect, and by using the serial numbers, we discovered that it had been stolen from a storage unit in Stone County, Mo.," said Handley.
During interviews with subjects involved with the theft case, the CID resolved an on-going investigation on a 1996 Ford Windstar van that was reported stolen on Aug. 17, by Joyce.
The same suspect, allegedly, took the van upon Joyce's request in order to collect insurance money in the amount of $5,499.45.
Police say that charges will be brought against her.
"When we interviewed the family, they said that the suspect told them he dropped the van in Table Rock Lake," said Handley.
The van has not yet been recovered. However, the Missouri Water Patrol is currently using sonar equipment to locate the vehicle, according to Handley.
Warrants are pending in Stone County, and several theft charges are pending against the suspect in Boone County and at the Green Forest Police Department.
"It was a collaborative effort," said Police Chief John Bailey.
The suspect is unnamed "because he has a history of eluding the police," said Handley.