A man and woman suspected in a large number of metal thefts in Texas County and surrounding counties are held in the Texas County Jail.
Texas County Sheriff Carl Watson said Tuesday that dozens of crimes may be cleared with the arrests.
Timmey D. Hale, 43, whose address is listed on official court documents as 14042 Highway 32 in Success, and Cynthia A. Heller, 50, whose address is listed as 5497 U.S. 63 in Houston, were apprehended by Texas County Sheriff’s Department officers late last week at a residence they have been staying at in the Simmons area, south of Houston.
Watson said Hale has likely been responsible for a staggering number of metal thefts that has involved several surrounding counties, and that Heller has likely been by his side throughout.
“Hale is a person we’ve been looking at for several months,” Watson said. “We’ve got him charged with one stealing case now, and will have warrants on him in the next few days on more. We have at least a dozen other cases that we know he did, plus he’s a person of interest in many, many more.
“Probably many dozens.”
Texas County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Anderson last Wednesday charged Hale with felonies of second-degree burglary and stealing more than $500 but less than $25,000, both regarding a Sept. 29 incident. Anderson charged Heller the following day with felonies of receiving stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both suspects were booked into Texas County Jail on Dec. 29 and held on $150,000 bond.
Hale’s pattern of stealing and selling made it difficult for authorities to reach a point where he could be charged.
“Whenever you sell the evidence the day you get it or the next day, it’s gone and it’s hard to track,” Watson said. “But we’ve checked the sales records at several different places that buy scrap metal, and the dates and what was sold coincides with what was stolen.”
Hale (who grew up in the Success area) and Heller have been living at several different locations during the spree, including multiple addresses in Springfield. When the two were arrested last week, a flatbed trailer that was recently reported stolen in Texas County was recovered.
Watson said Hale and Heller will each face numerous other charges once investigations are complete, and another woman will also be charged whose name appears on several receipts from salvage yards where Hale sold stolen metal.
“We’re just glad to get this guy and slow things down a bit,” Watson said. “This metal theft is driving us wild. There’s been a lot of expensive stuff stolen, and we’re never going to get it back. It’s gone.”