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The lead investigator in a Goodman robbery case says he doesn't hold much hope that the case will bust open.

"The case was bumbled from the start," said David McEntire, chief investigator for the McDonald County Prosecutor's Office. "There were mistakes made that cost us the case."

Goodman Tire & Auto, located in town on Roy Hill Boulevard, was robbed May 18, owner Meghan Sprenkle believes.

Her husband, Gerrod, discovered the robbery had taken place when he opened the shop for business on May 20.

Several items had been taken, which Sprenkle estimated were valued at $6,000. The business checkbook and a car valued at $4,000 were also stolen, she has said.

The first check written by a suspect hit the bank on May 21, she has said.

McEntire said two main problems bungled the investigation. The Goodman Police Department did not take fingerprints of the crime scene, McEntire said. Once his office was asked to take over the investigation, McEntire took fingerprints.

That took place two and a half weeks later, he said.

"We dusted the day our office was requested to be involved," he said. Investigators are awaiting results, he said, though he does not remain hopeful that the results will make an impact.

Another snafu occurred when the stolen car, which was recovered in Kansas, was not fingerprinted by the Goodman Police Department, McEntire said. The car was recovered a little more than a half-mile from one of the suspects, he said.

"It's been a convoluted process," he said.

McEntire said two women who cashed checks from the business were arrested for forgery charges and charged with Class D felonies. One has been charged in Joplin, and one in Jasper County. That's where the checks were cashed.

McEntire said he had hoped that the felony forgery charges would produce enough pressure to gain more information from the two women, but that has not been the case, McEntire said.

"The two individuals who cashed the checks have refused to cooperate, due to the fear of repercussions. As a result, no plea bargains were entertained," he said. "The two people identified are scared and not going to roll on that information," he said. "They're going to take the fall."

Investigators believe the women are part of an outer ring of people connected to a gang called the Joplin Honkies. The suspects know that McEntire knows they are involved.

If the suspects are caught up in a jam and confess, that might be a breakthrough. Otherwise, McEntire lacks enough physical evidence to charge others and bring the case forward.

"It's probably going to cold unless someone rolls."

General News on 10/03/2019

Print Headline: Burglary Investigation Bungled

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