Security camera aids in burglar's capture

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

CHAPEL HILL -- A Caney Springs man was arrested Sunday night and charged with the Saturday night burglary of H&S Pharmacy, where a glass door was shattered and pain pills were stolen.

Police Chief Jackie King said Daniel Stovall, 24, of 3857 Hearthstone Drive, was arrested by Officer Brian McCandless. Both men are due in Marshall County General Sessions Court for a Jan. 29 hearing.

"He confessed last night to Brian and (Detective) Bob Johnson of the sheriff's department," King said.

Stovall allegedly used a hammer to break a glass door to the drug store owned and operated by Chris Gilbert on Horton Highway, where the store's security camera captured several images of a suspect identified as Stovall, King said.

The burglar was was in the store about 20 seconds, the camera shows, when he went directly to a 1,000-count bottle of acetaminophen with codeine, the chief said. The pain pills are better known as Tylenol No. 3.

McCandless and other lawmen caught Stovall without difficulty. Marshall County Sheriff's Deputy Tony Nichols was in front of the police station at 6:15 p.m. Sunday. He was about to climb into his patrol car and leave, but was still consulting with McCandless.

"They recognized the truck when it went by," King said of a comparison between what they saw and a photo from one of the drug store's security cameras.

"They stopped him on Caney Springs Road near the BP," King said. "He was told it was for something else. When they got to talking with him they could recognize him from the video."

Also assisting in the investigation was Deputy Phil Blackwell.

Charges against Stovall are burglary, vandalism and theft of property valued at less than $500.

The bottle of pills is valued at $300 wholesale, according to Gilbert.

Tim Lane, director of the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force, said about $4 is a recent street value for each pill.

Gilbert said each pill contain 30 milligrams of codeine. The cost to repair store's door is about $500.

Gilbert commended town police and sheriff's officials for the quick response and apprehension of a suspect.

"And it shows how important it is to have that and good surveillance equipment," Gilbert said. "Without the video, we might not have apprehended the gentleman."