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Camden man charged with commercial burglary in fireworks theft

April 8, 2021 at 9:03 a.m.

By Camden News Staff

Zachary Whitley, 23, of Camden had his first appearance in March in regards to his alleged involvement in the theft of $5,000 worth of fireworks.

Whitley is currently housed in Ouachita County Detention Center on a $265,000 bond and is charged with theft over $1,000, commercial burglary and criminal mischief, as well as charges from an unrelated case.

According to a report from the Ouachita County Sheriffs Department, in November of 2020, the owners of a firework stand called OCSD to report a break-in. The owners noted damage to a side door of the building as well as $5,000 in fireworks missing.

Later that month, officers responded to a call in reference to a homeowner who lives across the street from the stand finding a wallet next to her shed. The wallet allegedly contained Whitley’s ID.

In March, Whitley was interviewed about the break-in and, according to police, admitted to breaking in.

According the to the report, Whitley stated he was the passenger in a vehicle when he thought he saw blue lights indicating a road block. The report says Whitley said because he had warrants, he exited the vehicle and started running, subsequently happening upon the stand.

According to the police records, he reported kicking the door in and he grabbing a handful of fireworks, which he said he stashed under a bridge and returned to collect them the next day. Whitley said the driver was unaware of the theft.

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