Traffic stop leads to arrests for theft, warrants

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Left to right are Tyma M. McElroy, Larry D. McElroy, James B. Hyche and Allan K. Lewis. (Cullman Police Department)

Updated 2-14-20 at 9:51 p.m.

CULLMAN, Ala. – A traffic stop for driving without headlights Wednesday night led to four arrests.

Cullman Police Officer Jeff Mize, who made the stop in Town Square Shopping Center, said, “They were coming through town with no headlights on, so I stopped them and find out the driver’s got felony warrants, so I get him detained. Then I start seeing shoes, that are brand new, that have the stuffing in them still. Officer David Brooks comes up and gets the others’ IDs. All four of them have warrants. The brand-new shoes were just laying there in the floorboard of the car. There were like seven pairs of Nikes and a pair of women’s boots.”

Three men and one woman were in the vehicle.

Mize said he asked the female, “Look, those are brand new shoes, and I’m pretty sure you’re not going to be able to give me a receipt. Where all have y’all been?”

The shoes were stolen from Dick’s Sporting Goods and Jack’s Western & Outdoor Wear.

“She never confessed to me that they took them; she just told me where they had been, but she ended up fessing up to David Brooks at the jail,” he said.

Mize said surveillance video the CPD obtained shows the suspects taking the shoes from the stores.

James B. Hyche, 36, of Cropwell, the driver of the vehicle, was charged as a fugitive from justice, having felony drug warrants from Jefferson County.

Tyma M. McElroy, 48, of Cottondale was charged as well with felony warrants from Jefferson County. She may also be facing additional charges.

Allan K. Lewis, 51, of Bessemer and Larry D. McElroy, 49, of Woodstock were each charged with fourth-degree theft of property. Each also has pending warrants from other counties.

CPD Capt. Gene Bates praised Mize for the arrests, saying, “Officer Jeff Mize, he did an outstanding job. Instead of him just stopping the car and dealing with the traffic citation, he took the extra initiative to dig a little deeper and further investigate. That’s what we want our officers doing. He did a great job.”

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Wendy Sack

wendy@cullmantribune.com