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Trail leads police to thieves
Christopher Meeks.jpg
Christopher Meeks

A trail of stolen items led to thieves, according to the McMinnville Police Department. 

Warren County residents Christopher Hunter Meeks, 20, and Shylow Jeffery Lea, 23, were arrested and charged with burglary, theft and vandalism. Detectives allege that the duo entered a Morrison Street business owned by Sid Stanton and stole numerous items, including a .357 Smith and Wesson Magnum. 

“On Sept. 13, I was asked to assist patrol on a burglary of a business located at 725 Morrison Street,” said police detective Katelyn Cannon. “After arriving on scene, I met with Lt. Ben Cantrell and officer Chris McCormick, and spoke with Sid Stanton.”

The business owner advised that someone came onto the property over the weekend, stole numerous items and caused damage. Stolen items included CB scanners, tractor trailer batteries, car parts from a GMC pickup, a motorcycle, containers of oil, a blue air tank, miscellaneous tools and the .357. Damage to the property included cut wires inside several tractor trailer cabs, part of a fence pulled off its posts, and damage resulting when a chain and come-along was used in an effort to remove a wall safe. 

“While walking the property, we observed an area in the back where the fence had been cut and there was a trail in the grass that led to the railroad tracks. On the railroad tracks we located one battery, a barrel dolley, part of a motor, and some other items. The items left a trail to the backside of the McMinnville Housing Authority office.”

K9 unit, police officer Joseph Butler and Kane, then tracked the scent to a residence on Hardaway Street. 

“At that location, numerous items were located outside the residence belonging to Sid Stanton,” said Cannon. “Christopher Meeks was at the residence and was questioned.”

Meeks reportedly denied involvement, but implicated Lea.

“During questioning, Meeks stated that Shylow Lea came to his residence over the last few days and had brought the items,” said Cannon. “He allowed us inside and numerous other items were located inside the kitchen and living room. Meeks denied having any involvement with obtaining the items.” 

Lea was later located at a residence on Ruby Street and was questioned by officers. His version of events implicated Meeks. 

“During questioning, Lea admitted to going over to 725 Morrison Street,” said Cannon. “He said he saw a truck on the property and believed he could use parts from it. According to Lea, he and Christopher went onto the property and stole the items.” 

Cannon re-interviewed Lea, who then implicated Elton Edward Sanders, 37, and a fourth individual. 

“I located Sanders and he admitted to being involved,” said Cannon.

The fourth individual has yet to be located. 

Bond for Lea and Meeks was set at $13,000 each.