Two North Little Rock men were arrested on Jan. 12 and charged with possession of stolen items and related charges after Maumelle officers responded to complaints from a local motel of the men just hanging around the hotel lobby.
Sgt. Dustin Ivey said when he arrived one of the men, Jeffrey Blake Leatherwood, 24, of North Little Rock started cursing him for just asking basic questions.
Both men each had a portable police and fire radio that were both listed as being stolen from the Conway Fire Department, Ivey said.
Maumelle police chief Sam Williams said his officers were unsure if the radios were being used to dodge police and he said Maumelle does not have a local ordinance prohibiting the use of police radio portable scanners or radios in vehicles for civilians not associated with law enforcement.
North Little Rock does have an ordinance and aldermen when it was enacted said burglars were using the scanners to listen in on police calls in an attempt to avoid detention if police were working in the area they were.
Staff at the Quality Inn and Suites Hotel at 14203 Overstreet Road called police after the men sat in the hotel lobby for some time without a room. One man had twice gone upstairs to check on an alleged friend staying at the hotel — Tommy Shannon.
Leatherwood told Ivey that Shannon was his uncle and they were visiting him but couldn’t explain why they were waiting in the lobby.
When Leatherwood wouldn’t stop cursing, Ivey said he arrested him and charged him with disorderly conduct.
Ivy said he also noticed both men had portable police and fire frequency Motorola radios on them that later were found to be listed as stolen from the Conway Fire Department.
Ivey said both men said they used the radios to communicate with each other but admitted both came together in a Dodge Caravan parked outside the hotel.
A search of a bag in Leatherwood’s possession found several cell phones and numerous electronic items including several items listed as stolen, police said.
Both men had arraignment hearings in Maumelle District Court on Jan. 13 and bond was set at $15,000 for Leatherwood and $10,000 for Franks. Leatherwood is still in jail and has not been able to make his bail. Franks is no longer in jail.
Among the stolen items recovered were a Greenlee voltage meter, two sets of DeWalt drill bits, a red flashlight, a knife sharpener, a GE tape recorder, a Tom Tom GPS device, Sports Afield binoculars, numerous gift cards, restaurant gift cards and many other items, some listed as stolen by the Conway Police Department.
Ivey said a search of the van produced another bag with similar items inside it including several stolen items.
A check of a cell phone by Ivey produced photos of Maumelle residents Ivey said he knew and it turned out they had been the victims of a recent burglary with a cell phone stolen along with other items — some of them recovered in this arrest.
Neither man would claim ownership of the items or answer questions police had about them.
Both police and fire radios were reported stolen from Conway and valued at $6,000 each.
Maumelle police said they will continue to investigate the pair and any connections learned about through these arrests which could possibly lead to subsequent arrests of related individuals.