Video footage leads to arrest of two men for criminal mischief

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, September 20, 2022

A pair of men face charges including theft and criminal mischief after allegedly breaking into vehicles and taking items they found inside.

Brent Edward Hammonds, 21, and Takota Hagle, 18, both of Harlan, were arrested on Monday, Sept. 12, by Harlan City Police Officer K. Helton on complaint warrants obtained by Harlan City Police Officer Mark Saylor.

According to the complaint warrants, Saylor states Hammonds and Hagle broke the windows of three vehicles in the Arby’s parking lot. The pair unlawfully entered a total of eight vehicles in the city of Harlan and removed personal property from the vehicles.

Harlan City Police Chief Winston Yeary explained Saylor headed up the investigation, which led to the arrest of the two men.

“They began at Arby’s,” Yeary said. “They damaged property on three vehicles there. Then they worked their way into town and got into five vehicles that they found unlocked.”

Yeary said the pair did not break any windows out while in town because the noise of breaking glass would likely alert people in the area.

“They would walk around, and when they found a vehicle unlocked, they would get in the vehicle and rummage through it,” Yeary said. “From what we can tell, they took around $20 in change and some other small items,” Yeary explained video footage led to the arrests.

“We were able to obtain some video footage from a private citizen in town,” Yeary said. “Once we got that video footage, we looked at additional video footage from a store and the police station, and we were able to identify these two guys.”

Yeary said the incidents in town occurred early on Saturday, Sept. 10.

“They were in town at around 6 a.m.,” Yeary said. “People were still in bed, especially since it was Saturday morning.”

Yeary said once the two were identified, they were brought into Harlan City Police headquarters.

“We got confessions from both of them,” Yeary said. “We served the warrants today (Monday, Sept. 12).”

The case is still under investigation. Additional charges are possible.

Hammonds and Hagle were both charged with eight counts of theft by unlawful taking (auto) and first-degree criminal mischief. Both were lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center.