Crane woman's hearing for stealing cars set for Nov. 19

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Woman allegedly steals, wrecks 2 vehicles

A Crane woman was arrested in connection with two car thefts that occurred over a seven-day period.

According to a probable cause statement filed by Cassville City Officer Danny Boyd, on Oct. 15, Melissa Hoyt (Ross), 38, of Crane, walked to 907 Main St. in Cassville and allegedly stole a white 2003 Chevrolet 2500 HD truck parked behind Johnson Chiropractic. Hoyt then drove away in the vehicle to Highway 248 just west of Highway 39, where she was involved in a motor vehicle accident. Hoyt then fled the scene on foot, leaving some personal items inside the truck.

In a separate incident on Oct. 20, as reported in a probable cause statement by Barry County Deputy Bill Watkins, between 3-3:30 p.m., Hoyt walked onto private property at 32022 Hwy. 248 in Aurora, entered a garage detached from the home and stole a lighter and pair of gloves. Hoyt placed the stolen property into a red 2001 Dodge Ram pickup parked beside the garage, with the keys in the ignition, and drove away in the vehicle.

On Oct. 21 at 3:29 p.m., the property owner called police after he and his son, Jacob Johnson, saw their vehicle driving down the road, north of Highway 248 and Highway D. Johnson was able to catch up to his stolen vehicle and had a brief conversation with Hoyt. When Johnson informed Hoyt they would wait for law enforcement, Hoyt got back into the stolen vehicle and in fleeing the scene, struck Johnson's 2007 Dodge 3500, causing damage in excess of $750 to each vehicle.

According to Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly, Hoyt had been arrested on a warrant after the theft of the first vehicle, then after bonding out that same afternoon, stole the second vehicle.

Hoyt has a criminal history. In a previous case from April 2013, she was charged with tampering with a motor vehicle.

The next day, on Oct. 22 at approximately 9 a.m., Hoyt was apprehended and arrested at 11364 Farm Road 1215. According to Epperly, Hoyt spent the night in a dairy barn in Jenkins, and in the morning, walked to the neighbors and asked to use the phone. They became suspicious and called the sheriff.

"We got out there and made the arrest," said Epperly. "She was wearing the same type of clothing we were looking for before. She had a black leather pouch and a glass pipe in her right pocket, and pulled it out and threw it just prior to being placed under arrest."

According to the probable cause statement filed by Barry County Deputy Justin Ruark, Hoyt had in her possession several baggies with a white substance, which she later admitted to being methamphetamine.

Hoyt is being held at the Barry County jail on a $15,000 bond on charges including second-degree burglary, stealing a motor vehicle, two counts of first degree property damage and possession of a controlled substance.

A disposition hearing is scheduled for Nov. 19 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

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