A criminal investigator with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Ralph Williams, said TJ's Convenience Store in Yerkwood was burglarized Tuesday after midnight and Hamrick Groceries in Empire was burglarized Wednesday after midnight.
“Money, cigarettes and a cash register were taken in both burglaries,” Williams said, “and damage was done to both businesses.”
Williams said Tyler Dakota Hays, 21, of Sayre in Jefferson County, was captured Thursday after a foot chase through the woods on Stella Lockhart Road.
Hays has been charged with two counts of third-degree burglary, two counts of third-degree theft of property, second-degree criminal mischief and third-degree criminal mischief.
“Our investigation led us to identify Mr. Hays as the primary suspect in both of these burglaries,” Williams said. “Sumiton police were able to provide us with a location where Mr. Hays was living on Stella Lockhart Road.”
Williams said upon arrival at the location on Stella Lockhart Road, Hays and a female, Candice Hays, fled into the woods, but were later captured by sheriff's deputies and Sumiton police officers.
“Candice Hays was taken into custody on warrants out of Jefferson County for charges related to forgery and possession of a forged instrument,” Williams said. “Charges may also be filed against two other individuals who we believe assisted Mr. Hays in connection with these two burglaries.”
Walker County Sheriff John Mark Tirey said Hays may also face charges in connection with burglary investigations currently being conducted by both the Jasper and Sumiton police departments.
“I’m very proud of the cooperation we have between the Sheriff’s office and the Jasper and Sumiton police departments. We are working to together in an effort to solve some of these burglaries,” Tirey said. “And I’m real proud of Sgt. Williams for doing such a good job of getting on these cases as fast as he did, and getting these suspects in custody.”