Sticky-fingered Region 8 woman behind bars for car thefts

Melissa Leann Staley (Source: Baxter County Sheriff's Department)
Melissa Leann Staley (Source: Baxter County Sheriff's Department)

BAXTER COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A woman who allegedly stole two vehicles in 2011 was taken into custody at the Baxter County Detention Center on Thursday.

According to the Baxter County Sheriff's Office, they received a report of a stolen vehicle on February 23, 2011. The missing 1992 Mercury Sable was valued at $1,000. The non-operational vehicle had reportedly been stolen from a home on Hwy 5 South. Witnesses said they saw a dually truck load up the vehicle on the morning of February 2, 2011.

In March, the sheriff's office received another stolen vehicle report. This time, it was a 1965 Chevrolet Impala, valued at $2,200. This vehicle was also stolen off of Hwy 5 South.

Almost exactly a year later, the sheriff's office was notified by the owner of the Chevy Impala that someone had filed for a lost title with the Office of Motor Vehicles at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

With that information, investigators learned that the Impala had been sold at auction in Midway in 2011 to a person in Fulton County. The person who sold the Impala at the Midway auction scrapped the Mercury. He provided investigators with the bill of sale he obtained on both vehicles when he purchased them from Staley. He was also able to identify Staley in a line-up.

She was then contacted by the sheriff's office. She admitted to signing the bills of sale on the two stolen vehicles and obtaining cash for their transfer.  She acknowledged that she did not own either vehicle, nor did she have a title to either vehicle.

Staley was booked into the detention center on March 15, 2012 on a felony theft of property charge. Her bond was set at $25,000.

She's scheduled to appear in court on March 22, 2012.

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