Police beat

From Conway Police Department reports

Shoplifting suspect drops lightbulb used for meth

A 40-year-old man suspected of shoplifting at Walmart faces a drug paraphernalia charge after he reportedly dropped a lightbulb used to smoke meth while being questioned by authorities about the allegations.

Online records show that Robert Nash was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class D felony, following the Aug. 30 incident.

According to an incident report, Conway officers were called out shorty after 8 p.m. Aug. 30 to the Walmart on Skyline Drive regarding a shoplifting complaint.

While in the loss prevention office, the employees “kept asking [Nash] about razor blades he had supposedly concealed … [but he] was adamant that he had not taken any razor blades,” according to officer Steven Spurgers’ report.

The officer said that while Nash spoke with Walmart employees about the allegations, he heard “the district sound of glass falling on something hard.”

At this point, responding officers asked Nash for permission to search his pockets. According to the report, the 40-year-old gave police the OK to search him.

Officers found “a number of open and new razor blades” as well as a “clear, plastic tube that was covered in white residue” in Nash’s pockets. While the officers searched his pockets, one of the loss prevention employees noticed there was a glass bulb on the ground next to the suspect.

“The bulb was a makeshift meth pipe from a light bulb,” according to the report.

The 40-year-old was arrested on scene and taken to the Faulkner County Detention Center following the incident.

Traffic stop ends with drug charges, arrests

Three Conway residents were arrested following an Aug. 31 traffic stop after police reportedly found meth and a pipe in their vehicle.

Officer Tanner Williams initially stopped the red Pontiac Grand Am that 70-year-old Jeffrey Earl Townsley was driving after noticing the vehicle did not have a license plate. According to an incident report, the officer noticed Townsley didn’t have a license plate as he drove through the intersection of Harkrider and Robins streets on the day in question.

As he walked up to the Pontiac Grand Am, the officer said he noticed the front seat passenger was “handing items to the driver” and that the person sitting in the back seat was “clutching something behind. Her leg as if she was hiding something from my view.”

Soon after he got the names of all three people, the dispatch center alerted Williams that the front seat passenger – 51-year-old Fred Miller – was wanted by the Arkansas Parole Board. Once he found out Miller had an outstanding warrant issued against him, the report states the officer asked the 51-year-old to step out of the vehicle.

According to the report, Miller tried to get out of the vehicle without taking his seatbelt off. After realizing his seatbelt was still fastened, the Conway man unbuckled it and got out of the car.

At this point, the officer had Townsley get out of the vehicle as well and asked for permission to search it.

“Townsley advised that there was nothing illegal in the vehicle and denied consent for me to search the vehicle,” Williams’ report reads in part. “I returned to the stopped vehicle and instructed [37-year-old Amanda] Flynn to exit the vehicle. At this point, Flynn had relaxed her arms rather than attempting to hide items behind her leg.”

Because Townsley said the officers could not search his vehicle, another officer pulled up to the scene to issue the 70-year-old a citation for not having a license plate while Williams had his K-9 officer conduct a free-air sniff around the vehicle to see if could detect the smell of narcotics. According to the report, the K-9 indicated a positive alert.

After the dog gave a positive alert, the officers on scene told Townsley they would conduct a probable cause search of the vehicle. During the search, authorities found “a plastic baggie containing a half gram of suspected meth” in a Paul Mall Blue 100 cigarette package under the driver’s seat and a suspected meth pipe that was “near the rear passenger door.”

Townsley was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a Class D felony, and also cited for driving a vehicle without tags, an unclassified misdemeanor, following the incident. Miller also faces a possession of controlled substance charge because the suspected meth was found in a box of the type of cigarettes he admitted to smoking.

Online records show that Flynn was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia because police suspect she hid the pipe under a tan plastic box.

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

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