A McMinnville man has been accused of burglarizing his place of employment.
Justin Lee Stoddard, 28, has been charged with burglary, theft of property, and unlawful possession of a weapon. The charges stem from a theft reported by a customer of Meek’s Tire Company.
“The victim in this case dropped his vehicle off at Meek’s on Sparta Street to be worked on. That was July 19,” said McMinnville Police detective Katelyn Cannon. “He inadvertently left a pistol in the center console of the vehicle. When he came to pick up his vehicle, the firearm was gone. He reported it to the business.”
The pistol was a Taurus 9mm.
Stoddard was immediately suspected.
“The business suspected it was an employee and only one left after this incident,” said Cannon. “I pulled video surveillance. The theft occurred July 22 at 1:20 a.m. Stoddard was arrested July 30 and charged with burglary and theft. He actually sold the pistol and quit work the morning after he sold it. We were able to recover it and return it to the victim.”
Stoddard had only worked there for three weeks.
Stoddard went from being a victim to being accused of a crime in less than a month.
On June 27, the home Stoddard shared with his wife and four children was shot with five rounds. Hit was the right front living room window of the home on Edgefield Street. The drive-by shooting occurred at 5 a.m. The family, home at the time, was uninjured.
No arrests have been made in that case, according to Cannon.