HALEYVILLE -Law enforcement are investigating to see if a crime spree in Haleyville this past week, where vehicles were broken into, is related to the theft of a white van from Traditions Florist late Saturday night, April 28.
That white van that was later found in Mississippi, where the suspect was seriously injured in a crash while driving another stolen vehicle during a high speed pursuit from law enforcement.
The white van was located in West Point, Mississippi, after Jonathan Dewayne Cosby, 27, Haleyville, was seriously injured after reportedly leaving the van and then stealing a 2004 Nissan passenger car which which he was driving when the crash occurred, authorities said.
Cosby, was driving the stolen Nissan 2004 south on Hickory Grove Road, when it collided with a 2008 Chevrolet pickup traveling west at the intersection of Highway 182, according to Master Sgt. Criss Turnipseed of Mississippi State Highway Patrol.
Cosby was airlifted from the scene to University Medical Center, Jackson, with serious injuries, authorities said.
Otis Robinson, 77, of Starkville, driver of the pickup, was taken to OCH Regional Medical Center in Starkville with moderate injuries, authorities added.
Troopers were dispatched at 10:16 a.m. to a two vehicle crash at the intersection of Hickory Grove Road and Highway 182, which occurred after a high speed chase in Clay County, crossing into Oktibbeha County, according to officials.
The incident involving the stolen Nissan can be traced back to Haleyville, where Cosby was seen on surveillance video at Traditions Florist around 10 p.m. Saturday, April 28, walking on foot to the business from the direction of the downtown area.
Cosby was wearing a long trench coat and was carrying some type of object resembling a pillow, when he walked around the right side of the business, then around the left side of the 2000 Chevrolet Express van.
Video then shows Cosby at the driver’s side of the vehicle, turning on the van’s headlights before getting in, backing the van out of the parking area and driving it south on Highway 13.
The key had reportedly been left inside the van after a delivery was made Friday, according to personnel at Traditions Florist.
Owner Reba Butler noticed the van was missing on Sunday, April 29.
“We had all gone to eat breakfast and I was like, ‘The van is not there,’” Butler said.
Tabitha Clark, her daughter who owns Traditions, checked the business’ security video and discovered the van had been stolen Saturday night.
“It’s just bad that people work has hard as people work and somebody just comes by and thinks they can just help themselves to anything,” she pointed out.
“You don’t want to feel like you have to just stand and protect everything that you’ve got. It’s seems like the world, that is the way it’s getting to be,” she added.
Traditions personnel wanted to know if the van had been wrecked.
“We work hard for what we have,” Tabitha added, “and people need to do the same.”
Haleyville Police Chief Kyle Reogas noted the white van stolen from Traditions was located in West Point, Mississippi. The van was reportedly found intact, according to a photo sent from Mississippi law enforcement to the Haleyville Police Department.
“We believe the subject who is responsible for the theft of the van could very well be responsible for the three thefts from the vehicles,” Reogas said “That’s yet to be proven.”
The three thefts from vehicles in the Haleyville area occurred within a 24 hour period from 10 p.m. Friday, April 27, to around 10 p.m. Saturday, April 28, Chief Reogas said.
The first incident occurred at the 3500 block of 25th Street, where someone entered a vehicle at that residence and took three pairs of Costa sunglasses, valued at $200 per pair, Reogas said.
The second incident occurred at the 2300 block of 15th Avenue, where a nine millimeter Sccy handgun was stolen from a vehicle as well as a wallet containing a Traders and Farmers Bank debit card and $15 in cash, Reogas added.
The third theft occurred at the 2500 block of 11th Avenue, where a nine millimeter Glock firearm was taken from a vehicle, the chief continued.
No forced entry was reportedly made to any of these vehicles, according to Reogas.
“It’s still under investigation as to the three thefts from the vehicles,” Reogas said. “It’s still under investigation to see if there’s enough evidence to charge (Cosby) with those.”
Cosby faces charges of theft of a motor vehicle pending the outcome of his medical status from the injuries he sustained in the auto accident, Reogas said.
“If he recovers, I’m sure Alabama as well as Mississippi authorities will have charges on him,” he added.
Cosby will first answer charges in Mississippi then will be transferred to Alabama to face charges there, Chief Reogas indicated.
Cosby currently is facing charges in Winston County of attempting to commit a controlled substance crime as well as criminal mischief related to his arrest April 18, after a vehicle was found burning at the abandoned Illinois Central railroad tracks near Alabama Avenue in Haleyville, Reogas said.
*When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.