05/17/06 — After shootout, stolen guns turn up in Texas

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After shootout, stolen guns turn up in Texas

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on May 17, 2006 1:49 PM

It was not the legendary Gunfight at the OK Corral, but two weeks ago an eastern Wayne County resident exchanged gunfire with one of two intruders who stole six firearms from his home.

One suspect was found in Texas, where he was arrested and charged, but he posted bond and was on the loose again without being charged in Wayne County, authorities said.

The resident, John Franklin Bartlett, had gone to the backyard of his home in the 700 block of South Beston Road to put gas in his tractor at about 10:15 a.m. on May 2 when he saw a silver or light blue car in his driveway with a man inside, a report said. Bartlett told sheriff's deputies that he saw another man inside his home.

When the driver saw Bartlett, he opened fire with what may have been one of the stolen weapons, detectives said. Bartlett was carrying a handgun and returned fire.

The suspect fled from the house, losing his shoes in his haste, and jumped in the car. The pair sped north on South Beston Road.

No one was injured.

When Bartlett returned inside, he discovered that the suspects had stolen a .30 caliber carbine, a .38 handgun and a .380 handgun that were valued at $1,550. A second resident, George Franklin Bartlett, reported the theft of a semi-automatic handgun, a rifle with a scope and a muzzle-loading rifle that were worth $1,350.

John Bartlett reported the make, model and serial numbers of the weapons to the Sheriff's Office. The information was entered into a national database. Early the next morning, two suspects were stopped near Texarkana, in northeastern Texas. An officer saw a handgun in their car. He checked the weapon through the database and discovered that it had been stolen from the Wayne County home.

The men said they had bought the weapons in North Carolina. The officers did not buy their story and charged the driver, Kevin Kyle Kinder, 18, of Kaufman, Texas, with felony possession of a stolen firearm. Kinder posted a secured bond and was released from custody.

In the meantime, Texas authorities alerted the Wayne County Sheriff's Office about what had happened, and the two agencies began an investigation. As a result, Kinder was charged in Wayne County with breaking and entering, larceny of a firearm and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. When Kinder is found, he will be extradited to Wayne County for prosecution, officers said.

The second man has not been identified.