By Beth Lawrence
Law enforcement officers captured an alleged thief who they say managed to elude them for about two weeks.
Anthony Travis Arrwood, 34, of Cullowhee, was arrested Thanksgiving Day, Major Shannon Queen said. He faces criminal charges in connection with several break-ins and vehicle thefts across Jackson County.
“He was noticed by an off-duty deputy sheriff while at PJ’s gas station,” Queen said. “The off-duty deputy contacted on-duty deputies for efforts to place him into custody.”
PJ’s Fast Food Mart is located at 237 Asheville Highway.
As on-duty officers arrived on scene, Arrwood fled on foot. He took a path across Skyland Drive and entered the McDonald’s parking lot where his attempted escape was cut short.
Once Arrwood was in custody law enforcement officers found evidence of additional crimes.
“The vehicle Arrwood was in contained suspected items from an additional breaking and entering at the How Convenient that the Sylva police investigated,” Queen said.
Arrwood and Cassandra Chey Fox, 23, also of Cullowhee, are alleged to have broken into High Country Tire on U.S. 441. The incident occurred Nov. 13.
Fox was arrested on Nov. 19.
Deputies say Arrwood entered High Country Tire by removing a board used to cover an opening in a wall used for an air conditioner.
Arrwood then took a set of BF Goodrich 265 75 16 KO2 all terrain tires, a cordless Milwaukee impact drill and charger and a TPMS monitor computer valued between $1,200 and $1,500, according to reports.
Arrwood was arrested on Nov. 14 for a theft that occurred at Reservation Tire on U.S. 441 North in Whittier on the same night as the High Country break-in, Queen said. He is believed to have tried to break into a number of cars at the tire shop before successfully gaining entry to one and stealing it. Arrwood was given bond and released for the Reservation Tire theft before he was identified as a suspect in the High Country Tire incident. The two businesses are approximately 16 miles apart.
Arrwood was identified as the suspect from surveillance camera footage in both incidents, Queen said.
Sheriff’s detectives came close to catching Arrwood on Nov. 22 when he was spotted in the Addie community.
The detectives “were out doing a neighborhood canvass and interviews in an area where Arrwood was known to be,” Queen said. “They saw him drive by and tried to pursue him.”
Arrwood managed to ditch the vehicle an eighth of a mile from where he was spotted. He then eluded law enforcement on foot.
“He ran through the woods and up to the old mica mines, off Mineral Springs Road,” Queen said.
The truck, a Ford F-250 was later identified as having been stolen from Western Carolina University.
As of Wednesday morning, Arrwood was being held in the Jackson County Detention Center in lieu of a $79,500 bond.
He is charged with possession of stolen goods, failure to appear for larceny, FTA breaking or entering a motor vehicle, violating a court order, misdemeanor larceny, larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, breaking and entering a motor vehicle, driving while license revoked, minor equipment violation, covering a vehicle registration sticker, resist delay and obstruct, conspiring to break or enter a building, felony larceny, forcible breaking and entering, larceny, and damaging a coin-operated machine for crimes in Jackson County.
Western Carolina University Police charged Arrwood with two counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, attempted motor vehicle theft, motor vehicle theft, conspiracy to commit felony larceny, and two counts of damage to property, said Bill Studenc, public information officer for WCU.
Arrwood is charged with felony breaking and entering, two counts of larceny after breaking and entering, two counts of possession of stolen goods, injury to personal property, possession of burglary tools and breaking and entering of a motor vehicle for crimes in Sylva’s jurisdiction, said Sylva Department Lt. Aimee Watson.
Fox is charged with misdemeanor possession of stolen goods and felony obtaining property by false pretense for crimes in Sylva.