SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Two Sikeston residents are in custody after a man reported someone stole a four wheeler and then rode it home.
Both Jonathan Higgins and Krystal Tatum were arrested in connection to the stolen ATV, after the Mississippi County Sheriff's office began investigating the incident.
Krystal Dawn Tatum, 24, of Sikeston, Mo. was charged with stealing a motor vehicle and tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree, property damage first degree and one count of misdemeanor trespassing. Her bond was set at $25,000.
Jonathan Ray Higgins, 25, of Sikeston, Mo. was charged with stealing a motor vehicle, third or subsequent offense; tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree and misdemeanor trespassing. His bond was set at $50,000.
Higgins faces the stealing charge and the higher range of punishment due to his prior stealing-related felony convictions.
When Chief Deputy Marcum was initially on the scene, he said he noticed a set of large footprints leading up to the trailer the ATV was taken from, and followed them from the man's yard to where railroad tracks used to be located.
According to the sheriff's department, they interviewed several neighbors and other witnesses who reported seeing Higgins and another man in the area the night of the theft.
Deputies say one witness confronted the men about their suspicious behavior. This caused the suspected thiefs to run from the area. They say later that night, the men returned to apologize before leaving in a minivan.
On Thursday, a deputy found Higgins in Charleston, Mo. According to the sheriff's department, when the deputy approached Higgins, he reportedly asked whether he was in trouble for stealing a four wheeler.
Higgins was then arrested.
On Thursday evening, officers interviewed Krystal Tatum. They say she acknowledged transporting the men the night of the theft, but denied knowing about anything illegal.
They then interviewed the man seen walking with Higgins and determined he was a witness to the theft, but was not criminally involved. Officers say based on information from this interview, they requested a second interview with Tatum.
During the second interview, deputies say they had probable cause to believe Higgins stole the ATV and then drove it to Sikeston after being dropped off by Tatum.
According to the sheriff's department, Tatum dropped Higgins off knowing he was going to steal the ATV.
They say the stolen ATV was found abandoned near Sikeston. When deputies retrieved it, they found it had been wrecked and was badly damaged.
Preliminary hearings for Higgins and Tatum have been scheduled for July 9.