CASSVILLE, Mo. – Nearly 30-thousand dollars worth of items stolen from Roaring River State Park have been recovered, and two men connected to the theft are behind bars.
The Barry County Sheriff’s Department says the recovered items include a four wheeler, several power tools and more than a dozen Native American artifacts.
“Indian artifacts are hard to come by and they’re precious,” says Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly, “the way they were cut out by the Indians, years and years ago.”
The Sheriff says on January 4 the artifacts, along with the other stolen items, were taken from the park’s nature center.
“It’s a camping area,” he says, “where people go and have a good time and fish down there. You hate to see this type of thing.”
Epperly says when a large amount of items are stolen, it’s rare for law enforcement to recover the majority of them.
However, investigators found a fingerprint on a spray paint can – helping result in a quick arrest.
“[The suspects] spray painted the windows of the nature center. I guess to where they couldn’t see them in there trying to steal stuff.”
The fingerprint led investigators to the home of 44-year-old Rodney Evans of Berryville, Arkansas, where investigators say several of the stolen items were found.
Further investigation led to the discovery of more items in in 54-year-old Terry Kline’s home in Green Forest.
“A lot of times we see where they’ve already moved them and pawned them,” Epperly says.
Nearly $30,000 worth of stolen items were recovered during the investigation, along with another stolen item the Sheriff’s Department believes was used in the nature center theft.
“We recovered a 16 foot trailer that was stole just east of Cassville,” he says, “so I’m sure they used that.”
Currently Kline and Evans are both being held on $30,000 bond in the Barry County Jail.