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January 4, 2014

Man arrested for car burglaries subject of continuing investigation

CULLMAN — Following the arrest of a Cullman man last week for a string of car burglaries, authorities say no additional break-ins have been reported since.

Anthony Hayden Coots, 20, of Cullman, was seen inside a man’s vehicle last Thursday, which led the homeowner to call the police to report a burglary. Police officers responded to the scene and caught Coots with a duffle bag of allegedly stolen merchandise in hand and arrested him without incident, assistant police chief Craig Green said.

“To my knowledge, since Coots was arrested there haven’t been any more car break-ins in the city, so he may have been one of the main ones breaking into the vehicles, but the department is still looking into the ongoing investigation,” Green said. “The investigators are continuing to inquire about the possibility of his involvement in other break-ins, but Coots hasn’t admitted to burglarizing other cars at this time.”

There had been 12 burglaries reported over the past three weeks in the city alone, in the time leading to Coots’ arrest. Cullman police officers Joey Duncan and John Anderson arrested Coots at approximately 5 a.m. last Thursday morning.

Anderson told The Times that after he used verbal commands asking Coots to back down, he acted as if he were going to run away, while Duncan snuck up from behind and was able to apprehend him without incident.

“While talking to him, he voluntarily told us some of the other places he had stolen things,” Anderson said in a previous interview. “He told us the reason he was burglarizing the cars is because he didn’t have any money and needed cigarettes.”

Coots was charged with unlawful breaking and entering of a motor vehicle and he was taken to the Cullman County Detention Center.

For more information or to alert law enforcement of suspicious activity contact the Cullman Police Department at 256-734-1434.

%Lauren Estes can be reached at laurene@cullmantimes.com or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.

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