4 men charged with burglary, arson
Charges stem from burning of home in April
Four area men have been charged with three felonies each, relating to an incident on April 6 when the men allegedly broke into a Purdy home, stole numerous tools and lit the house on fire.
Tyler Rubert, 18, of Crane; Norman Baez Jr., 25, of Monett; Theodore Peterson, 42, of Cameron; and Charles Peterson, 44, of Rocky Comfort, are each charged with second-degree burglary, second-degree arson and theft.
According to a probable cause statement filed by Det. Robert Evenson, with the Barry County Sheriff's Office, the four allegedly entered a home on Farm Road 2170 in Purdy with the intent to steal property to satisfy a perceived debt owed to the group.
Charles Peterson allegedly admitted that during the burglary, something went wrong, and they decided to burn the house to destroy any evidence left behind. Peterson allegedly lit the fire, and Theodore Peterson allegedly kept the burnt match as a souvenir.
Evenson said the four allegedly took several items from the home, including at least three tool boxes, two metal and one orange plastic come alongs, tow ropes, tools and other unknown items.
The homeowners also said one of their dogs perished in the blaze, as it was locked in the porch at the time of the fire. They also assumed their other dog perished in the home during the fire.
The homeowner learned Theodore Peterson had the other dog, a fact Charlie Peterson confirmed.
In mid-August, the homeowner went to Theodore Peterson's home, where she was met at her car by Peterson and Baez, who were both armed. Baez allegedly pointed a gun at the homeowner's head, while Peterson did not draw his weapon.
The homeowner told Peterson she would like to have the dog back, and Peterson said she would have to buy it back. Saying she didn't have the money, the homeowner attempted to broker a trade, but was denied and told she may have visitation with the dog. She stayed and played with the dog for about two hours.
On Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, Evenson said he drove by Peterson's house and saw a dog matching the homeowner's description. The next day, Evenson and Fire Marshal Randy Sweet drove by the house again, where they again saw the same dog and Sweet took a photo of the dog and house.
Rubert is being held in the Barry County jail on a $30,000 cash only bond. Baez is being held in the Barry County jail on a bond of $82,750, as he has multiple other cases to be disposed.
Theodore Peterson and Charles Peterson each have warrants out for their arrest. Jail staff said neither of the men have been booked on the charges.