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Clanton officer arrested on burglary, theft charges

Published 3:09pm Monday, August 8, 2011

A Clanton Police officer was arrested Aug. 5 and faces charges of burglary and theft of property after he allegedly stole a neon sign from a local business early on the morning of Aug. 4.

CPD Chief Brian Stilwell subsequently terminated the employment of David Michael Hegwood, a 22-year department veteran.

“For us, there is nobody here that is above the law,” Stilwell said.

The owner of Boomerang’s, a restaurant still under construction on Highway 31 in southern Clanton, contacted Clanton Police because surveillance video from the business showed a uniformed officer entering and taking a sign that read, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.”

The man on the video was identified as Hegwood. Stilwell was able to confirm that Hegwood’s cruiser was indeed parked at the business for several minutes during the time of the incident by using the department’s Auto Vehicle Locator technology, which maps the location of patrol cars in real time.

The Alabama Bureau of Investigation was asked to help with the case, and Hegwood was arrested at 4:35 p.m. on Aug. 5. He has since posted bond in the amount of $10,750.

Stilwell said there is no indication Hegwood has committed any other crimes while on duty.

“It’s devastating because all the good that we’ve done, all the good that the city council has done, you can throw that out the window because all the public is going to see is this incident.” Stilwell said. “I have to apologize to the public, and I have to apologize to the city.”

Hegwood has until Friday to appeal his termination.

The Advertiser is trying to reach Hegwood for comment Monday afternoon. Check back for updates on this story.

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  • Rickey

    N.Cognito –
    Thanks for educating me. I’ve been away from Chilton for many years, but it will always be my home and I usually return at least once a year. Thanks again.
    The incident regarding the law enforcemet officer (is that the correct word :) I’ve decided that he is just a damn thief … and that’s the nicest thing I can say about him.

    (Report comment)

  • N. Cognito

    Rickey, Jeralyn is speaking of a sheriff’s deputy not a Clanton Police Officer. The police officers in the city do not work for the sheriff and the sheriff had nothing to do with this case.

    I believe that this incident was handled correctly, the officer was arrested and charged just like anyone else would have been. As for all the talk of corrupt police, There are bad people in every profession and walk of life.

    (Report comment)

  • Rickey

    jeralyn –
    Drop a name. Just because the Police Department won’t and the CA won’t print it, don’t mean you can’t.
    On the one hand I figure that if I’m doing nothing wrong, I don’t need to know who is undercover or not … but on the other hand, I’d still like to know. So drop a name!

    (Report comment)

  • dke187

    my guess is that he was on some type of “medication.” he has gotten away with things long enough….. what goes around, comes arouond….. maybe he’s out for good..

    (Report comment)

  • Rickey

    Here’s another question I have to ponder: Why didn’t the police officer just ask where the resteraunt folks got the sign and then just purchase himself one? The answer I’m forming now is that he is nothing but a thief and thieves don’t generally ask people where they got stuff so that they can go out and buy themselves one. Come to think of it, maybe my whole question is a little naieve?

    (Report comment)

    • Katherine Reece

      You could probably google it and find a zillion different ones to buy online.

      (Report comment)

  • jeralyn4313

    sunshinetoday…I am happy that you have been on the good end of the police deopartment and was helped. BUT I wonder how you would feel if a loved one of yours was set-up, locked up, and stolen from by the crooked ones??? Oh in the end GOD did prevail and justice was done but there will always be a fear that it can be done again to ANYONE they feel like doing it too! EVEN YOU!!! The crooked police profited from the false bust and got away with it. Things it took years to work for were gone in one afternoon by crooked cops. And after I did some extensive investigating it is VERY WELL known who these rogues are!!! Kevin do what you promised to do before re-elected and CLEAN THEM OUT OF THE SYSTEM!!! DO NOT REHIRE THEM AND PUT THEM OUT IN THE PUBLIC AS UNDERCOVER COPS. BEARDS and BLUE TRUCKS CANNOT DISGUISE THEM!! AND PLANTING DRUGS ON INNOCENT PEOPLE IS NOT WITHIN THE RELM OF THE LAW!!! sunshine I truely hope you do not have to go thru this or any of your family members. The DANGER is there as is the possibility. UNTIL TRUE JUSTICE AND HONEST POLICEMEN ARE THE ONLY ONES ON THE FORCE!

    (Report comment)

  • reecie1

    This officer has probably not only lost his job but I guess throwed his pension out the window. Plus he won’t even get to keep the sign. Sounds to me like the sign cost more for him than it was worth.

    (Report comment)

  • Justice

    I’m sorry, but this man wronged me many years ago, so I’ll be sure and ask forgiveness for this.

    “HEY MIKE, HERE’S YOUR SIGN!”

    (Report comment)

  • Justice

    God forgives those who repent of there sin. I kinda think
    Mr. Hegwood probably did’nt appear very repentant on the video of him steeling the sign.

    (Report comment)

  • Rickey

    It wouldn’t be fair nor right of me to judge the entire Clanton police department because of one bad apple. So I don’t do it. There are bad apples in every bunch and in every profession. Yes, it looks worse because a police officer is supposed to be held to a higher standard but he’s not above the law, and the Police Chief saw to this. However, I do feel that since this officer stole a sign, this is likely not the first time he has stolen. Thieves don’t generally steal one item in their entire lives … they make a career out of it. I have to wonder why David Michael Hegwood didn’t see the security camera? And I have to wonder why in the world he would want a neon sign that reads “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere?” It sounds like an item he wants to hang in his double wide trailer.

    (Report comment)

    • reecie1

      Surely you’re not implying that because he’s a thief that he must live in a mobile home but then again maybe he does, I just don’t see how what he lives in would make a difference. I know some awfully nice, law abiding people who live in mobile homes simply because they can’t afford a house (which I’m sure they would rather have) and prefer a mobile home to living on the streets. I also have heard of some criminals that have lived in big fancy houses. Your comment was a good one until you decided to try and be funny.

      (Report comment)

      • jeralyn4313

        Even if you live in a shack you can and should be HONEST!!! What makes it 10 times worse is he WAS suppose to be protecting citizens and business owners from THUGS like he turned out to be!!!

        (Report comment)

      • Katherine Reece

        LOTS of good folks live in trailers in Chilton Co.

        (Report comment)

  • sunshinetoday

    I bet God is so surprised that he made so many perfect people. I know he is like me, he thought he only made one perfect man. Everybody makes mistakes and as christians we are to forgive just like God forgives us of our sins. If you have never done ONE thing wrong and know you NEVER WILL then go ahead and throw the stones. I am praying that God will guide him and the police department to do the right thing everyday. I know that when I need them I call on them right away and they have always been there to help me. I don’t think I could depend on any of you!!!!!!

    (Report comment)

  • niknak515

    I agree with all of your posts! “Protect and Serve”?? More like “Harass, Scare the heck out of and screw-over.”

    (Report comment)

  • jeralyn4313

    Great Job on this!! Now get the rest of the dirty ones…you have an undercover one that eats at the Maplesville cafe’s and had been fired once already for lying on the witness stand and hired back as an undercover cop. FIGURE THAT>>>> YOU KNOW WHO I AM TALKING ABOUT!! Get rid of the dirty good ole boy club!! As more investigation is done they WILL BE FOUND OUT!!!When you talk about cleaning up Chilton County let’s include the Police force also. As a matter of fact the good policemen don’t want anything to do with these scums that are giving Law Enforcement a bad name. Hedgewood is a drop in the bucket!! Fill that bucket up and REALLY CLEAN UP CHILTON COUNTY!! These bad officers are giving Chilton a bad name!

    (Report comment)

  • dke187

    i hope they put him under the jail. they would anyone else… this is not the only trouble he has been into…

    (Report comment)

  • sunny68

    Is this the same officer involved in the previous article in the CA? Just curious.

    http://www.clantonadvertiser.com/2010/11/03/police-officer-faces-domestic-violence-charges/

    (Report comment)

  • myopinion2

    Man….I am really surprised that there are not a million comments already made on this article! Well, I hope that Mr. Hegwood thought that a stupid “neon sign” was worth losing his job over! Sounds like he needed to grow up anyway! Hopefully he will be replaced with a more “mature” police officer that will actually do his job and not break the law!!!

    (Report comment)

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