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Curtis Lee Barton, 25, Squires, his brother, Christopher T. Barton, 34, Squires, and Michael W. Woodell, 20, of Caulfield, have been charged in connection with five burglaries in Douglas County and four burglaries in Ozark County, and also face charges in Webster County where a car used in the burglaries was stolen.
On Wednesday afternoon, July 14, Sgt. Keith Jones of the Missouri State Highway Patrol observed suspicious activity of a driver south of Ava. The vehicle was followed to the parking lot of Bethany Baptist Church on SE 18th Ave. where the 2007 Toyota was abandoned.
Sgt. Jones determined the car had been stolen in Webster County, and with the assistance of Ava Police and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Dept., and store management, Curtis Barton was arrested at the Ava Wal-Mart store.
Further investigation led officers to the home of Barton’s brother, Christopher, at Squires, where with consent to search, officers found burglary tools and stolen property.
During interrogation of the two Barton brothers on Monday, Woodell, who was incarcerated in Greene County for burglary, auto theft and related charges, was brought into the local cases.
Curtis Barton and Woodell are charged with burglaries at the Ava Community Center, Ava Pound, Ava MoDOT maintenance building, Ava City Hall and Gentry Church, and have also been linked to burglaries in Ozark County at the Gainesville MoDOT building, Ozark County Courthouse and Donley Feed.
Curtis Barton and Christopher Barton are also charged with a break-in at Gainesville City Hall.
Woodell and Curtis Barton are charged in Douglas County with five counts each of burglary. Christopher Barton is charged with possession of burglary tools and receiving stolen property.
Curtis Barton is also charged with vehicle tampering, and other charges are pending against the trio.
Sgt. Jones said these cases were solved through cooperative efforts of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Ava Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, Ozark County Sheriff’s Department and the Webster County Sheriff’s Department.
Sgt. Jones said Curtis Barton was just released from prison in December where he served time for stealing a City of Ava maintenance truck in 2007.
That stolen truck was identified by Mtn. Home, Ark., authorities and was involved in a high-speed chase that ended on a dead-end road northwest of Ava off Airport Road.