By Jessie Williams
Four suspects were arrested in Macon County last week after local authorities discovered over $200,000 in property stolen from a Kentucky business that two of the thieves were former employees of.
According to a report filed by arresting officer, Deputy Josh Meador, he was advised on August 2, 2021 by Lyons County, Kentucky, law enforcement about a tip they had received regarding 37-year-old Travis Johnson of Russellville, Kentucky.
The information they received, indicated that Mr. Johnson had stolen a white truck, Bobcat Skidsteerer and a black trailer, and the stolen items were located at an address in Macon County, Tennessee.
When Deputy Meador arrived in the area, he did observe a truck, trailer and Bobcat steerer matching the description at 4078 Red Boiling Springs Rd. A gray Suburban with a Kentucky license plate was also located nearby.
The officer made contact with Mr. Johnson and two suspects occupying the Suburban, later identified as 32-year-old Ashley Shumake and 49-year-old Edward Andes.
Deputy Tim Freeman and Sergeant Jacob Law also arrived on the scene to assist.
While Mr. Johnson identified Shumake and Andes as his friends, Shumake and Andes told Deputy Freeman they did not know Mr. Johnson and had just stopped to use the restroom on their way through town.
Miss Shumake did advise the officer she was out on parole for drug charges in Kentucky.
The officer was given permission to look inside a wallet located on the dash of the vehicle. The wallet included a driver’s license that belonged to a male subject named Brandon Pulley. After looking at the man’s photo, Officer Meador recognized him as the person running behind the silos when he pulled into the Red Boiling Springs Rd. address.
While interviewing Mr. Johnson, Deputy Meador was told the white truck belonged to his boss, Mr. Walter Schifflett, and he was trying to sell the other items for him.
When asked for his boss’ phone number, however, Johnson could not provide one. Mr. Johnson did advise Officer Meador he was out on probation for theft and burglary charges in Kentucky. He also stated that he did not know anyone named Brandon Pulley.
At that time, Deputy Meador looked in the driver’s side window of the truck and observed two magnetic signs that read ‘Shifflett Mobile Homes.’ The sign did have a phone number on it. The Rusellville Kentucky Police Department was contacted to see if they could get in touch with the business owner after several unsuccessful attempts by Officer Meador.
After it was determined a crime had taken place, all three subjects were detained.
A short time later, dispatch advised Officer Meador that Mr. Shifflett had been contacted and had confirmed his truck, trailer and Bobcat steerer were missing.
He advised the officer that Mr. Johnson and Mr. Pulley had previously worked for him and were fired for stealing. He also advised he was making a report on the stolen items with the Logan County Sheriff’s Office.
Shifflett told the officer he had recently purchased around $20,000 in Dewalt tools and placed them in the truck. Officer Meador had already observed several Dewalt tools in the back of the Suburban that Shumake and Andes were in.
After confirming the items as stolen, all three suspects were arrested and transported to the Macon County Jail. During the booking process, two baggies containing a crystalized substance were found on Mr. Johnson’s person.
Mr. Pulley was later found at the Lafayette Walmart and was placed under arrest and brought to the Macon County jail.
The truck, trailer and Bobcat steerer and tools were released back to Mr. Shifflett.
Johnson was charged with Possession of Stolen Property over $200,000 and Possession of Methamphetamine. His bond was set at $40,000.
Shumake, Andes and Pulley were charged with Possession of Stolen Property over $200,000. Their bonds were set at $30,000.
All four suspects are scheduled to appear in general sessions court on August 11, 2021.
Macon County Sheriff Mark Gammons would like to thank all of the officers involved in locating the stolen property and arresting the suspects without incident.