Police Beat

From Conway Police Department reports

Woman refuses to return vehicle after test driving it

A 38-year-old woman faces a felony theft of property charge after reportedly refusing to return a vehicle to a Conway dealership after agreeing to a 15-day test drive.

The owner of the car lot filed a theft complaint against Laura Leticia Cuellar on May 18 after the woman’s sister reportedly told him two days prior that the 28-year-old woman had moved to California with the vehicle in question, according to an incident report.

The owner told officer Ivan Cortes he only knew Cuellar in a customer-dealer relationship and that he agreed to let her take a 2008 GMC Sierra off the lot for a 15-day test drive on March 11. However, according to his statement, the woman has refused to return the vehicle.

After the 15-day test drive period was up, the owner said he called Cuellar and told her to return the vehicle. At the time, the 38-year-old woman said she was in Houston, Texas, and could not leave the state “due to COVID-19.”

Since then, the owner said he has unsuccessfully tried to reach Cuellar several times and that he decided to file a theft report when the woman’s sister approached him in a grocery store saying Cuellar had moved away.

Detective Timothy Gray has since tracked the woman to a possible location in North Little Rock, according to the felony probable cause affidavit filed against Cuellar.

Cuellar faces one count of theft of property, a Class C felony, following the allegations against her.

Teen arrested following traffic stop

A 19-year-old Helena-West Helena resident previously convicted of a felony charge was arrested last week after authorities reportedly found out he had a firearm in his vehicle.

Officer Steven Spurgers pulled over the red Hyundai Elantra that 19-year-old Artemas Leon House was driving when he noticed the license plate light did not work properly, making it too “too dark to read while traveling behind it,” according to an incident report.

The officer pulled House over around 12:15 a.m. May 19.

As he walked up to talk with the driver, Spurgers said he noticed House and the front seat passenger “were very nervous.”

“Both were staring at me wide eyed and breathing heavily,” the officer wrote in his report. “I asked how they were doing and the driver stated ‘working’ and ‘trying to stay inside.’ The driver stated that he worked at Burger King. This did not make sense as they were leaving Kum and Go and he was not wearing a work uniform.”

When the officer asked the 19-year-old to step out of the vehicle, House “stepped out very slowly and used his body to shield me from seeing the door pocket,” Spurgers said.

Because it appeared House, who is on probation and has an active search waiver filed against him, was trying to hide something inside the vehicle and also admitted to having a firearm in the vehicle, the officer decided to search the vehicle. Prior to the search, the front seat passenger, Raelynn Stone, also said there “was some weed” in the vehicle.

Though the 19-year-old said the 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun belonged to his cousin, the report states House was arrested and charged with possession of firearms by certain persons, a Class D felony.

Man smashes window at restaurant with metal pipe

A Fort Smith resident is behind bars in the Faulkner County Detention Center after reportedly shattering a window at Taco Bueno and hitting a golf cart with a pipe.

Musa Salim Abdul-Khaliq, 33, was charged with two Class D felonies – first-degree criminal mischief and possession of drug paraphernalia – along with public intoxication/drinking in public, a Class C misdemeanor, following an incident that reportedly happened on Thursday.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed against the 33-year-old, Abdul-Khaliq’s mother called the Conway Police Department because her son was “behaving erratically and that he was intoxicated.”

Shortly after, authorities received other calls of a suspect hitting a golf cart with a pipe at the Germantown Apartments and also hitting a two-pane glass window at Taco Bueno. The follow-up suspect descriptions matched the description of the woman’s son, according to the affidavit.

Officer John Turney found Abdul-Khaliq in the McDonald’s parking lot on Dave Ward Drive.

As the officer walked up to the 33-year-old suspect, the report states he saw Abdul-Khaliq drinking “out of a plastic vodka bottle.”

According to the Turney’s report, Abdul-Khaliq was “very irate” and would not stop screaming at the officers on scene.

The 33-year-old yelled out several times that the officers would have to shoot him and also said that “his mother owed him money and that she had better give it back to him.”

One man called 911 after Abdul-Khaliq ran toward his vehicle with the “metal rod,” according to Sgt. Melissa Smith’s report.

The man said he had driven over to the east side of the building to see what hours Taco Bueno was open when he saw Abdul-Khaliq “walk up to the door, grab a pipe and then smash the window of the restaurant.”

“[The man] said [Abdul-Khaliq] turned an looked at him, then started charging toward him with the pipe,” Smith’s report reads in part.

Online records show that the estimated damages to the restaurant’s window is $2,500.

Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached at mhicks@thecabin.net.

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