(10/31/2008)
By Bob Weaver

Calhoun Sheriff Carl Ballengee said yesterday "We're hot on the trail of suspects in several property crimes," with several arrests pending.

Sheriff Ballengee said between $10,000 and $15,000 of stolen property was recovered Thursday night from three locations in northern Calhoun.

"The stolen items are from Calhoun, Wirt and Roane Counties," he said, including an air compressor, chain saws, weed eaters, table saws, and copper.

Ballengee has arrested William (Junior) Vandal, 22, on two counts of receiving stolen property. One felony count is linked to a stolen F-250 Ford truck, and a misdemeanor count related to the theft of tools.

Authorities are looking for Jimmy Jack Vandal, related to his involvement.

William (Junior) Vandal, according to the police complaint, was spotted by Sheriff Ballengee and officer Bob Groves, with other subjects in a truck stolen from Gilmer County on October 20th.

The sheriff had been processing the return of two stolen ATVs to the owners and investigating the breaking and entering of two hunting cabins in the Bell's Run-Leading Creek area, when the stolen truck was spotted.

One hunting cabin was the property of Greg and Melissa Jones.

The report said several individuals "jumped into the truck...and the driver started coming at the sheriff, as if they were going to ram the cruiser."

Sheriff Ballengee recognized William (Junior) Vandal, among others in the vehicle, says the report.

The stolen vehicle went onto a primitive road, exiting on Sugar Camp, with the license plate number being recorded.

The truck, stolen from the Robert's Farm in Gilmer County, was later recovered from the Holt's Run section of Gilmer.

The police report says William (Junior) Vandal is also being charged in an incident where he purchased a stolen tool box with tools for $10, valued at $300.

The tool box had been reported stolen from Greg Selmon, an employee of Carl E. Smith Petroleum in June, 2008. The theft occurred on Sycamore Creek.

That criminal complaint was filed by Calhoun Deputy Sheriff J. D. Smith.


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