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The Carthage Press
  • Teen arrested for theft at Marian Days

  • A 17-year-old Texas boy was arrested and charged with one count of felony tampering with a motor vehicle after he apparently was found sitting in a Jasper County sheriff's vehicle early Friday morning.
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  • A 17-year-old Texas boy was arrested and charged with one count of felony tampering with a motor vehicle after he apparently was found sitting in a Jasper County sheriff's vehicle early Friday morning.
    Sheriff's Capt. Derek Walrod said Zachry Le, 17, Tarrant, Tex., was arrested at 5:30 a.m. Friday after officers found him in the front seat of a sheriff's vehicle in the parking lot of the Carthage Salvation Army, where police have set up a security headquarters.
    Carthage and Joplin police officers were alerted by the barking of the sheriff's dog in the back seat of the car.
    Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan said Le had in his possession a cell phone reported stolen from a tent on the grounds of Marian Days, which connected him to a burglary of at least one tent.
    Dagnan said other property was found in Le's possession on Friday but officers didn't have any reports of unsolved burglaries or thefts at that time, so they were checking to make sure there hadn't been any unreported incidents.
    Walrod said the Le was arrested at 5:30 a.m. on Friday by a Jasper County deputy and Carthage and Joplin police officers assigned to work the grounds of the annual Marian Days celebration, the event that draws tens of thousands of Vietnamese Catholics to Carthage at the beginning of every August.
    "While working at the Marion Days celebration in Carthage, officers from Joplin and Carthage were alerted to a Jasper County Sheriff’s K-9 vehicle when they heard the K-9 barking," the Jasper County Sheriff's Office said in a written release. "The officers along with a Jasper County Deputy arrested Mr. Le inside of the Sheriff’s vehicle. During the investigation, it was determined that Mr. Le had committed a first degree burglary by entering an occupied tent and stealing items. When the occupants woke up, they saw Mr. Le run from the tent. Mr. Le had left behind his backpack during the burglary."
    Walrod said the backpack in the tent and the cell phone in Le's possession connected him to the burglary.
    The Jasper County Prosecutor's Office later filed the felony tampering charge against him.
    As of late Friday, Le was being held in the Jasper County Jail on $2,500 cash bond.
    The sheriff's office said the investigation was continuing and more charges may be filed.
    Dagnan said considering the number of people concentrated in the small area that makes up Marian Days, crime is extremely rare at the event.
    "A theft like this is very unusual, considering the level of crowds we have," Dagnan said. "Last year, we had one theft reported. This is the biggest jump in population we've seen since I've been here. We've actually gotten permission from the owners of the old Village Chevrolet location and we're parking cars there because we are absolutely out of parking for the event."

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