3 suspects charged in tire thefts

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Employees of Ball and Prier facing felonies

Three suspects have been arrested and are facing felony charges for allegedly stealing tires from Ball and Prier Tire in Golden.

The alleged crimes took place from Jan. 1, 2012, to June 3 at the business in Golden, located at 29659 State Highway J. According to the Barry County Sheriff's Office, Braxton Franklin, Zachary Vance and Julie Underwood had been allegedly taking tires from the business by slipping them out over a two and one-half year period. The sheriff's department recovered 40-50 tires, and also some rims, which amounted to several thousand dollars worth of property.

Mick Epperly, Barry County sheriff, said the owner of the business called him the day before the arrest with suspicions, and said he had found some of the tires in one of the employee's vehicles, which led law enforcement to go to Franklin's residence.

On June 3, Franklin was allegedly caught with eight tires in the back of his SUV. The tires are valued to be in excess of $500. When Franklin was confronted, he allegedly admitted to stealing the tires and said he had been taking the tires on a routine basis. Franklin further stated he would take the tires and sell them to whoever would buy them, and had plans to meet a man in Seligman to sell the tires he took on June 3. Franklin said he would sell a set of tires for approximately $1,000.

Franklin does not have a criminal history. Vance allegedly admitted to assisting Franklin with the crimes over the last 2-1/2 years, as he took an unknown number of tires and wheels without permission from the owner. Vance also said he put Franklin in contact with the man from Seligman who planned to buy the tires on June 3.

On June 3, a Barry County detective assisted in a search conducted at Underwood's and Franklin's residence in Cassville. Upon arrival, the detective reported finding tires and wheels in the yard and Underwood said she removed them from the garage after she received a phone message that Franklin was being arrested for stealing. Underwood allegedly said she thought if she removed them from her garage and into the yard, she would not be arrested.

Franklin is charged with stealing property with a value of more than $5,000 but less than $25,000, a class C felony, and has disposition hearing scheduled for June 25 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke. Franklin posted bond on June 8 in the amount of $10,000.

Vance is charged with stealing property with a value of more than $5,000 but less than $25,000, a class C felony, and posted bond of $10,000 on June 5. A hearing date has not yet been scheduled.

Underwood is charged with a felony of receiving stolen property, a class C felony, was released on Thursday on a $10,000 bond. She has a disposition hearing scheduled for June 23 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

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