Izard County
Sheriff's Office
Melbourne, Arkansas
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Melbourne, AR 72556

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The investigation of a gun theft and possible theft of a four wheeler that occurred in the early morning hours on April 2 took somewhat a different turn, according to Sheriff Tate Lawrence, when no one would claim ownership of the four wheeler.  Izard County investigators were called to a Brockwell residence where a family member reported that a gun and four wheeler were at his residence and that he suspected his sons may have stolen them. The items were recovered and the investigation began.  Shortly thereafter, Daniel Taylor reported to Sheriff Tate Lawrence that he heard someone enter his home sometime around three that morning and when they left he noticed that his rifle was missing from his home. This reported stolen rifle was the same on that had been earlier recovered from the Brockwell residence. Three individuals at that residence were arrested.

By mid-morning when no one had reported a four wheeler stolen, investigators began looking for the theft victim.  After talking to several people on or near the Larkin and LaCrosse Cut Off Road, they escorted two of the three that had been arrested for the thefts who directed them to the residence of Kenneth and Tabitha Pettit on Chapel Hill Road.  There was an outbuilding at the residence as described by the two and a lock to the building had been broken as they described but in talking with Kenneth Pettit, he denied ever having a four wheeler and that he had broken the lock on the building himself because he had lost his key.  Furthermore, there were tracks near the outbuilding matching those of a four wheeler.  The thieves told investigators that they only took one four wheeler but that there two inside the building.  Both four wheelers were Honda 500’s, yellow in color.

Investigators returned to the residence sometime later in the afternoon and observed that the Pettit’s were loading their household goods into a large trailer and when questioned they said they were moving.  In the meantime, the identification number of the four wheeler earlier recovered was ran, for a second time, through the crime information center at sheriff’s office and it was determined that it had been stolen from an individual in Rock Springs, Wyoming in 2006 and information obtained by the sheriff’s department indicated that the Pettit’s had a Rock Springs address during this time period.   As the result of encouragement by Chief Deputy Earnie Bleckley, the Pettit’s brought the second four wheeler to the sheriff’s office at which time Kenneth Petitt, age 30 was arrested and charged with theft by receiving and obstructing governmental operations relating to the Wyoming four wheeler thefts. Sheriff Lawrence said that Wyoming authorities will decide if other charges from their jurisdiction will be filed.

Charged with the Izard County theft of the gun and four wheeler were Jacob Raymond Frey, age 23 of Brockwell;  brother Christopher John Frey, Jr., age 20 of Brockwell; and Jonathan Matthew Porter, age22 of Mountain Home..  All three were charged with residential burglary, a class “b” felony; breaking or entering, a class “d” felony; theft of a firearm, a class “d” felony; and theft of property, class “d” felony. Bond for each was set at $50,000 and all three remain in the Izard County Detention Facility.

Bond for Kenneth Pettit was set at $20,000 which he posted April 5.  All four are scheduled to appear in Izard County Circuit Court.

Chief Investigator Charlie Melton and Investigator J.T. Baker, assisted by Chief Deputy Blackley conducted the investigation.



News Release, For Immediate Release, April 8, 2013, POC: Sheriff Tate Lawrence, 870 368 4203


Note: Pictures of both Frey’s, Porter, and Pettit are provided

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