By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore police arrested a local man and a Pensacola, Fla. man after a security video showed them stealing a motorized bicycle from a local drinking establishment.
Atmore Police Department Sgt. Darrell McMann reported that Charles Franklin Jones, 34, of Atmore, and Jailon Hall, 18, of Pensacola, were each arrested March 5 on first-degree theft charges, although only Jones was charged with stealing the bike.
Police reports show that an officer was dispatched to The Tavern on U.S. 31 around 4:08 a.m. The video showed that a vehicle had pulled up close to the door, and two black males got out of it. They put the bike in the trunk of their vehicle and drove away.
The officer, who recognized Hall, forwarded the video to an investigator, who identified the other suspect as Jones. The patrol officer drove to the Patterson Street area, where he had several times seen the vehicle parked. It was eventually located on Brooks Lane, with a credit card in the name of Jones hanging from its rear-view mirror.
Hall was reportedly sitting in the vehicle, from which a “strong odor of marijuana” was coming.
As police investigated the situation, officers observed a man who matched Jones’s description walking toward them. The man suddenly turned around and began walking in the other direction, looking back toward the officers as he walked. He was identified as the suspect and taken into custody.
Meanwhile, officers began searching the vehicle and found a stolen handgun underneath one of its seats, along with a silver grinder, a small amount of marijuana and a digital scale.
Jones eventually told officers that he and Hall had dropped the bike off at a May Street location, and it was recovered and returned to its owner.
Hall was jailed on charges of first-degree theft (after the handgun turned out to be stolen), second-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The jail website does not show that Hall was ever processed into the facility, although APD reports show he was. No mug shot of the Pensacola man was available.