Story originally appeared in Sept. 8 issue of the Community Voice. For your subscription, call 270-384-94545
The Columbia Police Department followed several leads that resulted in the discovery of thou- sands of dollars in stolen proper- ty Friday that came from several thefts in Adair County.
Chief Jr. Murphy said several officers were involved in the case because the thefts were reported at different times over the past few months.
“This cleared up at least four of our cases,” Murphy said.
The sheriff ’s department and Probation and Parole were also involved in the investigation and some of the recovered property was linked to open cases at the sheriff ’s department.
One critical lead for the department came when an officer spot- ted an item for sale on Facebook Marketplace that appeared to be a stolen item on the list. As a result of the initial investigation, Tyler Grooms, of Columbia, was arrest- ed Friday on probation violations and search warrants were executed at a residence on Hutchison Loy Road and for some storage units.
Some of the recovered property had been stolen from storage units and Murphy said the prop- erty was recovered in storage units rented by Grooms at the same location where it was stolen. Due to the massive amount of property recovered, Murphy said some of it was logged and returned to owners. At least two of the victims were able to go to the Hutchison Loy location and retrieve property on Friday. “There was so much we couldn’t house it,” Murphy said. “I had to rent a storage unit myself to put stuff in.”
A large haul that was recovered turned out to be property stolen from a local business worth tens of thousands of dollar. It was returned to the owners, Murphy said.
Other property, including a car-haul- ing trailer, has yet to be identified but is also believed to be stolen. One firearm was traced back to a theft in Nashville, Murphy said. Other property appears to be from Taylor County.
Grooms, 31, was initially charged with possession of meth- amphetamine. He has now been charged with receiving stolen property over $10,000. One other arrest is pending, Murphy said.
By Sharon Burton