An observant neighbor and quick response by local Sheriff’s deputies led to the arrest of two men late Thursday night for the burglary and theft of valuable antiques, tools and other items from a storage building near Corbin.
Authorities say Dewayne Ferguson, 39, and Brian Meeks, 32, both of Corbin, have been charged with third-degree burglary, felony theft and trespassing following an investigation into the incident.
According to Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputy Brett Reeves, he received a call from a resident of Black Diamond Road near Corbin at about 9:45 p.m.
"They stated there was a couple of individuals on some private property and appeared to be loading up some tools and other materials into a black pickup truck," Reeves said. "The witness stated to me there wasn’t supposed to be anybody on the property at all."
Reeves said the two men had broken into a block building on some property on the road using a butter knife.
After receiving the call, he immediately notified the rest of the units on patrol to be on the lookout for a black dodge pickup truck and another white truck that the suspects were supposedly driving. A short time later, Deputy Ron Bowling said he saw the vehicle pass him near Diamond Grove Estates.
"Both vehicles contained obvious merchandise in the back … chainsaws, power saws, light fixtures, etc.," Bowling said.
Bowling stopped the vehicles at the intersection of Fifth Street and Black Diamond Roads. Police separated Ferguson and Meeks and got conflicting stories of where they got the items and why. Reeves said the items were part of an estate that belonged to a local woman who now resides in Arkansas. They were being stored in the building for the time being. The two men claimed they worked for the woman in the past, and that she had contacted them to retrieve the items for her.
"I asked them, if it was her stuff then why didn’t she come with you to get it," Reeves said. "They just sort of stumbled around and didn’t give any good explanations."
There is a possible third suspect being targeted in the investigation. Authorities would not reveal the person’s name.
Reeves said it is possible that they two men have been involved in other break-ins, but that the case is still under investigation.
"Having routine patrols around the county is what made this possible," Bowling said. "We were all just spread out and it enabled us to respond quickly to the situation."
Bowling estimated the items taken to be worth several thousand dollars.
Ferguson and Meeks were both lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center following their arrest.