Man arrested for several automobile thefts

BAXTER COUNTY (KAIT)- A rural Mountain Home man was arrested on three counts of felony Theft of Property following investigations into the thefts of three automobiles that have occurred since August 10, 2009.

On August 10, Sheriff's Deputies took a report from Auto Credit on Highway 62 West of Mountain Home that a 1984 Dodge Box Truck had been stolen from the lot. The arrestee had test driven the truck the previous day and had been a suspect in this theft.

On August 13, Sheriff's Deputies had taken a report that a 1993 red Nissan pickup truck had been stolen from a private residence at 4256 Highway 62 West.

Sometime after 7:00 PM on September 7th, a tow truck belonging to Carter and Sons towing company was stolen from its parked location in Mountain Home, but had not yet been discovered missing by the owners.

At approximately 5:45 AM on the morning of September 8th, the Ozark County, Missouri Sheriff's Office received a report of a motor vehicle traffic accident on "J" Highway in Ozark County. This accident involved the tow truck from Carter and Sons, which was towing the Dodge Box Truck that had been stolen from Baxter County on August 10th. Both vehicles were heavily damaged, but no driver could be located. There was evidence at the scene of the crash that at least one person had been injured, but had left the scene.

Sheriff's Investigator Sgt. Bob Buschbacher and a member of the Missouri Highway Patrol later in the morning went to the address of the suspect in the theft of the Dodge Box Truck, which was at 8208 State Highway 201 North, to try and make contact with him. Although contact was not made with the suspect, Investigators observed towing hooks that would be used on a tow truck and various vehicle parts that matched the type and description of the vehicles that had previously been reported stolen.

Investigators used the information they had obtained to secure a search warrant to search the property at 8208 State Highway 201 North. The search warrant was executed by the Sheriff's Office, with assistance of the Mountain Home Police and Missouri State Highway Patrol, at approximately 1:30 PM on Tuesday, September 8th. During the search, officers found the suspect in a bedroom inside the residence. The suspect had been monitoring officers on a video surveillance system he had installed at the residence. He was secured and taken into custody without incident.

Officers located the motor from the Dodge Box Truck stolen on August 10th and other vehicle/engine parts from the truck. Officers also located parts, including the tailgate, bed, and a door, from the red Nissan truck reported stolen on August 13th.

In addition, officers also found a Black Dodge Pickup truck hidden on the property that had just been reported stolen to the Mountain Home Police Department.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the following charges were filed:

Robert Bullington, 49 years old of 8208 Highway 201 North in Mountain Home,

charged by the Sheriff's Office with:

Theft of Property (Motor Vehicles) - 3 counts - Felonies

Bullington was taken to the Baxter County Detention Center and incarcerated with bond set at $40,000. It is anticipated that the Mountain Home Police will file one (1) additional count of vehicle theft against Bullington.

Bullington will appear in Baxter County Circuit Court on September 10th.

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