Charges keep mounting for teens

Published 8:46 pm Thursday, September 3, 2009

New information and evidence has resulted in additional charges for two area teens arrested and charged earlier this week in connection with a string of burglaries and robberies.

Chilton County sheriff’s investigators signed warrants Thursday on Timothy Jake Wells Jr., 19, of Verbena — a suspect in the July 1 burglary of Action Motorsports, the July 14 hold-up of a Shell Station off Interstate 65, and Tuesday’s robbery of Ye Olde General Store — for 18 additional charges.

Wells now also faces six counts of burglary third degree, three counts of burglary for residential burglaries, three counts of burglary involving local businesses (Lake Mitchell Mini-Mart, Stuckey’s and Enterprise Grocery), three counts theft of property second degree, one count theft of property first degree, and two counts theft of property third degree.

Wells is also charged with first degree robbery in connection with Tuesday’s crime. All theft charges are related to the burglaries.

Investigators also arrested Tommy Jay Knight, 18, of Verbena for one count burglary third degree and one count theft of property first.

Investigators believe Knight and Wells committed one of the residential burglaries together.

Knight was also charged with robbery and theft of property in connection with the Shell station robbery, according to Clanton police.

Sheriff’s investigators also recovered clothing from near County Road 505 that matches the description of clothing worn in Tuesday’s robbery of Ye Olde General Store, as well as several articles of clothing in a wooded area off County Road 480 that match the clothing description of the suspect in the Shell Station robbery. That evidence has been turned over to the Clanton Police Department.

Investigators also acted on drug related information that was received during the course of their robbery investigation. They seized an indoor marijuana growth operation on County Road 228 near Isabella, which included 15 mature marijuana plants, lights, ventilation equipment and other items of drug paraphernalia, one half pound of processed marijuana, 12 firearms and a large cache of ammunition.

Brian Gastiger, 40, was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana first degree and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis thanked all agencies and individuals that assisted in the cases that led to each arrest.

“Everyone did a great job,” Davis said. “Most of the investigators haven’t seen their families since Tuesday, but they have followed every lead and turned over every stone. Often times we don’t have much evidence to go on, but we were blessed this week that everything came together like it has. I am proud of every one of them and the job they do for us.”