Two West Plains women are each charged with stealing $25,000 or more after one of them allegedly tried to sell a portable ultrasound machine that had been reported stolen from a West Plains business to a veterinary clinic.
Warrants have been issued for Carrie J. Braun, 32, Columbus Street, and Stormy Dawn Burris, 20, Burgoyne Street, with bond set at $5,000 each.
On Aug. 1 a GE ultrasound machine valued at $25,000 and an HP laptop valued at $400 were reported stolen from Midwest Mobile Imaging at 408 Washington Ave., West Plains Police Detective Bryan Brauer stated in court documents.
Video surveillance of the incident shows a male suspect removing the items from a van belonging to the business at 5:12 a.m. that morning. Officers were also able to obtain footage of the suspect entering vehicles parked at Gary’s Tire, located a short distance away, Brauer added.
On Aug. 28 a woman later identified as Burris reportedly went to Talburt Animal Clinic on Porter Wagoner Boulevard attempting to sell the machine to them, saying it had belonged to a family member that died.
During the investigation, Burris allegedly said Braun had asked her to sell it for her because Burris appeared to be more trustworthy, and suggested she use the story about the dead relative to sound more believable.
Burris also said she made Braun come with her to the attempted sale because “she wasn’t getting into trouble for them,” Brauer reported.
When Braun was interviewed by the detective, she reportedly said she got the machine from someone she knows who was throwing it out and Braun had asked if she could have it to sell.
When Brauer asked why she didn’t sell it herself, Braun allegedly told him she looks like a “crackhead” and didn’t think anyone would believe her.
The two women were released and told charges would be sought, Brauer added. In further investigation Brauer and Detective Brandon Romans spoke with the man Braun said she had gotten the ultrasound machine from, and he allegedly said he found it sitting next to his fence in a suitcase about a month prior and it looked like someone had stashed it there.
He reportedly told the detectives Braun was present with another man when he opened the case and when he saw it was some sort of medical equipment decided he didn’t want anything to do with it, and Braun and the man with her took it.
The subject who allegedly found the machine was shown the video surveillance footage of the burglary and identified a suspect, adding he had given the male suspect the clothes he was seen wearing in the footage.
When the man was later interviewed by law enforcement, he reportedly first told authorities he didn’t take the items, but said later if he took them, he didn’t remember it because he had been “messed up.”
Braun is awaiting trial on two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of keeping or maintaining a public nuisance filed in April, according to court records.