Second arrest made in theft of antique farm implements

John Thompson • Nov 23, 2013 at 4:53 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A second arrest has been made in the theft of several items of antique farm implements and antique carriages.

Robert Dayton Stills Jr., 37, 263 Marion Branch Road, was arrested Wednesday morning on charges of theft over $10,000, theft over $500 and two counts of burglary. His wife, Christina Mavis Stills, 41, had been arrested on charges of theft over $10,000 and burglary in May. At that time, Investigator Jan Black of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department said she had also interviewed Mr. Stills at the Washington County Detention Center and he had admitted to taking the stolen items.

The charges stem from a complaint made by Herbert Collins on Feb. 10 that several items were missing from his barn on Big Sandy Road.

The stolen items included a wooden pony cart, an Amish doctor’s carriage, multiple antique farm implements, a 4-wheel flatbed trailer, roofing and dog lots. The total value of the missing items was $16,785.

Black said Collins’ property appeared undisturbed except for one gate to adjoining property. Collins said the property had been leased to Robert and Christina Stills. He said the Stillses had installed their own padlock on the gate for entrance to the pasture, where Collins had allowed the Stillses to keep their horse for a couple of weeks. He said the gate is at a close proximity to the barn where the thefts had taken place.

Black said her investigation revealed the Stills had taken several loads of metal items to OmniSource. She said photographs and documentation were supplied that showed both Robert and Christina Stills selling items that had been reported stolen.

Black said she later received information that the Stillses had sold the carriages to a man in Roan Mountain.

The second burglary charge against Mr. Stills also stems from an earlier complaint Collins had filed with the sheriff’s department. On Oct. 18, 2012, Collins said someone had stolen several items, including a 400-foot roll of chain link fencing, 40 fence posts, a heavy duty metal welding table, various water valves and heavy duty hubs. The total value of the missing items was listed at $875.

At the time of that reported theft, the Stillses were renting the adjacent pasture from Collins and had their padlock on the gate. Larry Vaughn investigated the burglary for the sheriff’s department. He said he found a witness who saw Mr. Stills with a large roll of chain link fencing. During Black’s interview with Mr. Stills in the Washington County Detention Center, he reportedly also admitted to taking several items from the barn to be sold as scrap metal.

Mr. Stills is scheduled to appear in Sessions Court on Dec. 31. Mrs. Stills has already been bound over to Criminal Court and has a reporting date Monday.

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