By Lauren Estes
The Cullman Times
Two Cullman residents were arrested by law enforcement officers this week for their involvement in multiple burglaries exceeding $5,000 in stolen property following a month-long investigation by the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office.
William Shawn Driskell, 32, of Hanceville, and Brandy Roxanne Cross, 32, of Cullman, were each charged with one count of third-degree burglary, but other charges could be added pending the ongoing investigation. Cullman County Sheriff Mike Rainey said the thefts, which are more prevalent during the holidays, are usually crimes of opportunity.
“This investigation helped lead to the clearance of four residential burglaries and several theft cases,” Rainey said. “We’re still trying to recover other stolen items and also if you’ve recently purchased material from Driskell or Cross, contact the sheriff’s office; It will help us determine if the property may be stolen.”
Items recovered from these burglaries range from suitcases, furniture, jewelry, decorative items, to full tool sets. Rainey said he encourages all area residents to have a watchful eye and take preventative measures in protecting against theft.
“If you are shopping and have gift bags or purses in your vehicle, lock them in the trunk; Don’t leave them in plain sight,” Rainey said. “Also, if you use a storage unit, it would be helpful to keep photographs or a checklist of all the items you store there, especially if they are valuable. I personally wouldn’t store jewelry or any type of valuable item or heirloom in a storage unit, but if you do, try and make sure you have record of it in case it is ever stolen.”
Capt. Jon Montgomery, Lt. Doug Duke, Randy Frost, and several Cullman Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) agents were all involved in seeing the investigation through and making the arrests. Frost said he would encourage those with valuable heirlooms to get a safety deposit box, if they don’t already have one.
“We recorded a video that has all of our valuable items like jewelry on it and then we placed that in our safety deposit box to use it as a reference if anything were to happen,” Frost said. “If you know the serial numbers to your items, that’s also helpful.”
Although there have been multiple car and residential burglaries reported over the last month, Rainey said this is the lowest number they’ve had since he was elected to office nearly four years ago. Chief Deputy Max Bartlett said from his experiences, these crimes usually end the same way.
“They usually don’t stop until they get caught,” Bartlett said. “Typically those who commit these types of thefts will continue it until they get arrested.”
Driskell remains at the Cullman County Detention Center on a $15,000 cash bond, while Cross posted a $5,000 property bond.
Lauren Estes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.