Investigator Sgt. Tim Thomas said Phillip Watson of Jasper was arrested Monday evening in connection with two burglaries that occurred at two businesses on Studdard Road in Jasper.
Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Hadder arrested Watson around 6:30 p.m. Monday while he was reportedly in the process of loading several large tractor batteries that had been stolen from Central Drilling and Machine and Jasper Machine and Welding, which is located next door.
“Deputy Hadder had just ended his shift and was on his way home when he spotted the suspect at the corner of the property of one of the businesses loading the batteries into the trunk of a car,” Thomas said. “He had apparently went around a fence to gain access to the two properties.”
Thomas said Watson also used a piece of heavy equipment known as a track-hoe in an attempt to break into some buildings and damaged multiple pieces of property while in the process of stealing various items from the two facilities.
Damage estimates are between $40,000 and $50,000, Thomas said. Watson is charged with third-degree burglary, first-degree theft of property and second-degree theft of property in connection with the burglary at Central Drilling and Machine. He is also charged with third-degree burglary, first-degree theft and first-degree criminal mischief in connection with the burglary at Jasper Machine and Welding.
Watson is currently being held in the Walker County Jail on a $105,000 current property bond.
Thomas said a Jasper man and woman have also been arrested in connection with a burglary at a residence on Clarke Road in Jasper on May 24.
Al Hernandez and Melissa Williams were arrested and charged with burglary and theft of property.
“They entered a residence on Clarke Road unaware that the owner was at home at the time,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the homeowner held Hernandez at gunpoint until patrol deputies with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene. Williams escaped on foot, but was later taken into custody.
Williams is currently being held in the Walker County Jail on a $60,000 bond. Hernandez was also being held in the county jail on a $60,000 bond, but has since been transferred to a facility in another county where he faces multiple charges.