Two Cannon County residents found out recently that stealing a candidate's campaign signs is no laughing matter.
Cannon County Sheriff's Deputy Anthony Young was dispatched to 2341 Iconium Rd., Woodbury, on May 28. Upon arrival he spoke with Roy Hall, who stated that someone in a cream-colored small pickup had driven into his driveway and stolen a campaign sign for Sheriff Billy Nichols out of his yard.
Hall started there was a driver of the vehicle and a passenger. The passenger got out of the vehicle and stole the sign and then they both left. The passenger of the vehicle was described as a white female with brown hair, of small stature and wearing a very bright colored blouse.
Young learned that Sheriff Nichols had located the pickup in question and had asked the driver to go to 2341 Iconium Rd. so that Hall could identify them as the persons he had seen earlier. The woman who was the passenger in the pickup was identified by Wanda Hall as the person who had taken the sign. The pickup was also identified as the vehicle that had been used in the theft. Mrs. Hall stated she was certain of her identity of the woman who took the sign because of her hairstyle and color and because of the blouse she was wearing.
Young then went to the truck to get information from the driver and passenger. The driver was Corey McNeese and the passenger Lindsey Farless, each of whom gave their address as 1695 Iconium Rd., Woodbury. Young obtained statements from both.
Each stated they had been together all morning and had been to the dump in Woodbury. They stated they had been pulled over earlier in Woodbury by Sheriff Nichols and he had asked them about the stolen sign. They both stated they had told Sheriff Nichols they did not know anything about the sign and had not taken it.
Young then placed Lindsey Farless under arrest for Theft Under $500 T.C.A. 39-14-146 and for Criminal Trespass T.C.A. 39-014-405. She was transported to the Cannon County Jail, booked, and later released on bond. Young also obtained warrants for Corey McNeese for the same offenses and when he came to the jail to see if he could bond out Farless he was placed under arrest. He too was booked and later released.
During the course of the investigation Young spoke with Ms. Farless' mother, Stacey Sargent. She stated her daughter and McNeese told her that they were going to take the signs and put them in CJ's yard as a practical joke because he (CJ) did not like Sheriff Nichols. Sargent informed Young that CJ's last name was Johnson and that he had done work on McNeese's vehicle.
The place where the signs were located was at Charles Johnson's repair shop on Soloman Lane. Young went to Soloman Lane and made contact with Charles Johnson and asked him if he knew anything about the signs. Young observed three "Vote for Billy Nichols" signs and one Woody Auto Express sign that were put up in the lane leading to the repair shop. Johnson stated he thought someone had put them on his property as a joke. Young told Johnson he was going to take the signs and return them to their rightful owners.