Investigation into stolen property results in arrest

An investigation that began in November after a number of items were reported stolen from a vacant house in central Pine Bluff resulted in the arrest of one man who allegedly sold some of the items to a scrap-metal dealer.

Ron Hancock, 33, was identified from a photo lineup by a witness to the incident, Detective Mike Sweeney said in a probable cause affidavit presented in court Wednesday.

Deputy Prosecutor Nicole Pugh said the owner of property in the 800 block of West 14th Avenue reported that three furnaces had been taken from the house and holes were knocked in some of the walls and copper wire taken. On Jan. 15 the same person reported that an antique record player, three antique lamps, two floor furnaces and various appliances were missing, and in that incident, the back door was kicked open.

According to the affidavit, the residence was not livable and the owner was repairing the property.

On Jan. 20 a witness reported seeing Hancock and two other men leaving the house carrying a large trash can. Then Hancock allegedly went across the street and took an air conditioning unit. When the witness confronted Hancock, he allegedly dropped the air conditioner and ran.

Later the witness was shown a photo lineup with Hancock’s picture and five others, and she positively identified him, and Hancock was arrested Monday.

Sweeney reported that some of the missing items were located at the scrap-metal dealer, which listed the items on a statewide website database.

Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set a $10,000 bond Wednesday for Hancock after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with breaking or entering and theft of property.

The Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent Hancock.