According to Sheriff Jeff Shaver – an alert citizen spotted the vehicle on fire off County Road 104 just outside Cedar Bluff at around 10:00pm Sunday. Cedar Bluff and Gaylesville Fire Departments were on the scene of an overturned 18-wheeler on Alabama Highway 9 north, with both departments responded and quickly extinguished the blaze.
Cpl. Tony Pettitt was in the process of taking a burglary and stolen vehicle report in the Blackwell community and had contacted Shawn Rogers, Cherokee County Fire Investigator, to inform him of the stolen vehicle and that time Rogers heard the radio traffic relating to the vehicle fire and informed Cpl. Pettit.
Fire department personnel provided Investigator Rogers with a vehicle description, which matched that of the stolen vehicle, and also provided a description of a white male seen walking a short distance from the burning vehicle, who was picked up by a red minivan.
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Perea arrived on the scene and began gathering information – Cedar Bluff Police Chief Steve Walden heard the description of the red minivan and provided Investigator Rogers with a possible suspect. Deputy Jeremy Stepps went to an address off County Road 698 and located a red minivan matching the description.
Stepps was able to make contact with a white male identified as 34 year-old Harley Ray Davidson – and Davidson was still wearing the clothes matching the description given by firefighters.
Davidson back to the scene where positive identification was made at that time Deputies returned to the residence and while speaking with the property owner, noticed in plain view through the window of the van items from the burglary that had just been reported.
Investigator Rogers arrived on the scene and recovered the stolen property, which was valued between $5,000 – $10,000.
Davidson was charged with theft of a motor vehicle, first degree theft of property, third degree burglary, and first degree criminal mischief.
Davidson is currently being housed at the Cherokee County Detention Center on a $40,000 bond.
Sheriff Shaver says this is an excellent example of multiple public safety agencies working together and sharing information.