Police need help to catch burglary suspects
by Jennifer Cohron
Feb 09, 2011 | 7321 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cordova Police Department is searching for two individuals who are each wanted on seven felony counts.

Police Chief Kenneth Bobo said that Stephanie Darlene Mayle and Bobby Lee Smith were in possession of stolen property from three counties when officers found them at 156 Hill Street more than a month ago.

One of the items was a camouflage golf cart that was taken from a residence on Manuel Hill Road on Dec. 20.

Approximately $80,000 worth of materials was stolen in the incident, which Bobo said was part of a burglary spree that kept his department busy in November and December.

“Pretty much the only thing they left in the residence was the homeowner’s personal clothes. They even took his hunting clothes,” Bobo said.

Officer Jamie Brown and investigator Keith Concord gathered evidence from the crime scene that provided the break they needed in other theft cases.

Bobo and the officers searched the city for several large items, which included a golf cart, generator and utility trailer that they knew would be difficult to hide.

Bobo said “old fashioned police work” led him to the golf cart, which was parked on the side of the residence on Hill Street.

A search warrant gave officers access to the house, where they found a stash of stolen property.

Officers recovered numerous firearms, antique jewelry, furniture and appliances, such as as front loader washer and dryer, refrigerator, microwave, toaster and freezer.

“The house was full. It took us eight trips with a trailer to bring it all into the police department,” Bobo said.

The items were traced back to five burglaries in the city limits of Cordova, as well as others in Jefferson and Blount counties and two areas in Walker County. Approximately 90 percent of the property has been returned to its owners, according to Bobo.

Bobo said Mayle and Smith, who are suspects in more burglaries, were not taken into custody because of a series of unfortunate circumstances.

The city does not have a jail. Attempts to reach authorities who could sign the necessary warrants were unsuccessful because it was a weekend and their offices were closed for the holidays.

“We can only house someone on a felony up to 48 hours without a warrant. Because we didn’t have a jail, we had no choice legally but to let them go and make them promise to turn themselves in,” Bobo said.

Bobo added that the case highlights the need for a city jail, which is one of several projects planned for the future in Cordova.

“If we had our own jail, we could have charged them with a misdemeanor and been able to hold them until we got felony warrants on them,” Bobo said.

Bobo asked for the public’s help to capture the two suspects, who are not believed to be in the Cordova area anymore but are considered armed and dangerous.

They are charged with three counts of third-degree burglary, three counts of second-degree stolen property and one count of second-degree receiving stolen property.

Anyone with information about the case may call 483-7378. Tips will remain anonymous.