Burglary suspects due in court Wednesday
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 11:00 AM
Two brothers arrested in connection with a string of burglaries in Jefferson County will appear in Superior Court on Wednesday morning for their initial hearing.
Darren Keith Stewart, 19, and Christian Allen Stewart, 18, were arrested early Friday morning after police acted on a tip and obtained a search warrant for homes on Audubon Park Drive and State Road 7.
In the garage of the Audubon Park house, police seized two truckloads and a trailer load of suspected stolen items and discovered a one-pot methamphetmine lab.
The items alleged to have been stolen included several guns, tools, speakers and audio equipment, gaming systems, tools and small machinery, according to a search warrant affidavit.
The men face a host of preliminary felony charges, including three counts of residential burglary, a Class B felony, four counts of structure burglary, a Class C felony, and seven counts of theft, a Class D felony. Darren Stewart also faces a preliminary charge of manufacturing methamphetmine within 1,000 feet of a school (Christian Academy of Madison), a Class A felony.
The initial hearing will come Wednesday after the prosecutor's office was granted a 72-hour hold to decide what formal charges to file.
Deputies questioned the brothers on June 16 following a break-in on Paper Mill Road but made no arrests at that time. Homeowners called police when they noticed items missing and saw a suspicious truck parked along the roadway, according to the affidavit.
The Ford F-150 was registered to the Stewarts' grandparents but was being used by the brothers. When questioned by deputies, the men said the truck was parked because a girlfriend had gotten mad and tossed the keys out the window. After hearing about the burglaries, the men said items had been taken from the truck as well, the affidavit said.
Four days later, the homeowners reported finding the keys to a Ford truck inside an outbuilding.
While many of the items found in the Audubon Park Drive home have been linked to open burglary cases and returned to the owners, Sheriff John Wallace said the investigation is still ongoing.
On Monday, Wallace said the sheriff's department is still working to cross-reference the remaining suspected stolen items with open burglary cases in Jefferson County and nearby counties. The sheriff's department also is working with residents who have missing items but did not file a police report after the incidents.
"Right now, the goal is to get everyone their property back," he said.