Man sentenced for role in 21 burglary casesPublished 4:35pm Wednesday, September 19, 2012
A Phil Campbell man implicated in 21 different burglary cases in the area pleaded guilty to theft charges last Wednesday, courthouse officials said.
William Channing King, 25, 1406 Pike Ave., Phil Campbell, pleaded guilty to second-degree theft of property and two counts of third-degree burglary and received a 10-year sentence for each charge.
According to Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing, King will serve the 10-year sentences consecutively, which means he received 30 years of prison time total.
“We think this was a very appropriate sentence for Mr. King considering he was involved in several different burglaries in Phil Campbell and Franklin County that affected multiple businesses and people,” Rushing said.
“This plea resolved 21 cases that were pending in our court system, most of which involved incidents in late 2011 and in August of this year.”
The case from this past August involved the Franklin County Drug Unit, who arrested King for first-degree unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance after investigators discovered active meth labs in a residence where King was staying.
According to Phil Campbell Police Chief Merrell Potter, the theft cases that took place inside the city of Phil Campbell started in August of 2011 and lasted through December of 2011, with the exception of one more incident that happened recently.
Potter said King is accused of breaking into the elementary school snack room and vandalizing the expensive machines; breaking into and stealing from the Phil Campbell Boosters’ concession stand; stealing a TV out of the high school field house; breaking into the Bedford Complex concession stand on two separate occasions; taking money from the cash register at a local auto parts store; and stealing money and damaging an expensive machine at a local Laundromat that caused the business to have to close.
“The problem we were having is that every time we would catch him and arrest him from a burglary or theft, he would get out on bond and be right back at it in a few weeks,” Potter said.
“And the sad thing is that most of the places he burglarized or stole from directly affected our children. He was stealing from the schools and the youth football league. He was damaging their property and stealing candy and things they were trying to sell to help their organizations.”
Potter said the stolen candy was one of the ways they were able to put King behind bars.
“We received information that he was out peddling the candy and trying to sell it for cash or cigarettes,” Potter said. “This last time when he was spotted in Russellville walking a dog and was taken into custody, he confessed to a recent break-in and told me where I could find the candy. I found it in the attic of his home still packaged and labeled that it belonged to the Phil Campbell Youth League.
“This has been a nightmare for us. We’re all still trying to recover from the tornado that damaged our town and then we had this man coming through damaging even more businesses and stealing from our citizens and our children.
“We are pleased he’ll be serving a long time in prison and we’re glad to have this part of it behind us.”
Rushing said he appreciated the cooperation of all involved in the arrest of King and making sure he served a lengthy prison sentence.
“The Phil Campbell Police Department did an outstanding job investigating these crimes and making sure the right suspect was caught and brought to justice,” Rushing said.
“These thefts affected several Phil Campbell citizens and we appreciate their police department making sure that the ones responsible were gotten off the streets to prevent similar crimes from being committed in the future.
“Our goal was to have King serve a lengthy sentence for what he had done, and we expect that he will.”