Capt. Bill Kennedy said he was conducting surveillance of the area with Patrol Capt. Howard Bussie when he observed Leonard Randall Kelly enter the storage facility at close to midnight Saturday and exit 3 hours later.
“When he came out, he was apprehended,” Kennedy said. “At that time, a pistol was recovered from him that had the serial number missing, so he was arrested immediately for possession of an altered firearm. There was also some dope found on him and gas (inside) his vehicle. Items were recovered from his car that we knew were from the burglaries.”
Kelly was initially charged with one count each of possession of an altered firearm, possession of a controlled substance and third-degree theft.
Judge Jeb Fannin set Kelly’s bond at $30,000 cash Monday for the initial charges.
Further investigation would lead Investigator Mike Jones to a residence on Concord Church Road, where he noticed two trailers with missing plates and other identifying markers.
“We obtained a search warrant for that residence,” Kennedy said. “Inside the residence and the two trailers was the stuff that had been stolen from storage facility.”
Kennedy said he would have to go back and count all the offenses before he could say for certain just how many overall charges Kelly will face.
“One trailer was stolen from Wetumpka and another was stolen from Pell City,” Kennedy said. “Other agencies may have charges on (that property). We’ve gotten about 99 percent of the property stolen identified. We’re in the process of contacting all the victims to let them know we have their stuff.”
Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore commended Kennedy, Bussie and Jones for a job well done, as well as Deputies Chase Cannon and Casey Shelnutt, who were directly involved in Kelly’s apprehension.
“Bussie and Kennedy proved that old guys can still do police work,” Kilgore said. “I appreciate their efforts.”
Possession of an altered firearm, possession of a controlled substance and burglary in the third degree are Class C felonies that carry a sentence of one year and one day to 10 years in prison upon conviction.
Contact Shane Dunaway at firstname.lastname@example.org