Suspects linked to region-wide breaking and entering
After being stopped by police, the couple was found with multiple purses in the vehicle, a ledger with the names of trailheads in multiple counties in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and an 18-month-old child.
Andrew Phillip Ramalho, 39, of Stillwell, Okla., has been charged with felony breaking or entering and endangering the welfare of a minor, as well as contributing to the delinquency of a minor, theft and theft by receiving, all misdemeanors.
Lacie Jo Wiseley, 33, also of Stillwell, Okla., has been charged with accomplice to breaking and entering, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft by receiving.
Bella Vista Police Officer Reid Hudgens responded to two separate calls of vehicle break-ins in Bella Vista on Friday, April 14 at the Bear Hollow Trailhead and Saturday, April 15 at Blowing Springs Park. During both incidents, windows were smashed out of vehicles and items were stolen, including purses.
A witness at Blowing Springs provided a vehicle description of a light-colored older model four-door passenger car.
At 1:09 p.m. Monday, April 17, police responded to a call of the same nature at Tanyard Creek Nature Trail. The caller witnessed a male break into a parked vehicle and pull a purse from the car, then leave in a silver or gold colored passenger car.
Officer Travis Trammell stopped the vehicle southbound on U.S. 71 just north of Riordan Road, and saw a purse sitting between the driver’s legs on the floorboard.
Wiseley admitted to the break-in at Tanyard Creek, Bella Vista Lt. Barb Shrum said, and both were transported to the Bella Vista Police Department for questioning.
Also in the car was Wiseley’s 18-month-old child. The child was brought to the Police Department and then taken into custody by the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
Police found several purses in the trunk of the car and a pry bar, Shrum said. The couple was linked to a similar incident in Rogers, and incidents in Prairie Grove and Siloam Springs may also be connected.
The victim from the Tanyard Creek theft later claimed the purse from the Police Department, and other victims have been contacted to claim their property. If you have been a victim of these crimes and have not been contacted, call Det. Mike Kugler at 479-855-3771.
Ramalho and Wiseley are being held in the Benton County Jail on a $15,000 and $10,000 bond, respectively.