Suspect charged with stealing same vehicle twice

A Sullivan man has been charged with stealing the same vehicle twice. That’s because after he was arrested and the vehicle impounded, he bonded out and allegedly broke into the impound lot, took the vehicle and took off. He wound up behind bars in Georgia and was transferred back to Greene County this week.

Derrick Markham

Derrick Markham

Derrick John Markham, 50, of Sullivan, was arrested by Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy Davis Aerne and booked in to the Greene County Jail yesterday, Tuesday, March 12, around 1 a.m. after Markham was transported back to Greene County from a facility in Georgia where he had been incarcerated.

Markham appeared in Greene Superior Court later in the day on Tuesday, March 12, for initial hearings in two criminal cases, one investigated by Officer Orry Phipps of the Linton Police Department and the other investigated by Det. Shawn Cullison of the Greene County Sheriff’s Department. Both of these cases involve incidents that occurred in late November of 2017.

Markham attracted the attention of law enforcement in Greene County when an alert security officer at Greene County General Hospital called the Linton Police Department to report a suspicious couple had come into the emergency room on November 26, 2017.

GCGH Security Officer Randy Razner reported Markham said he was from California, his wife Autumn Markham said she was from Las Vegas, they pulled in to the hospital parking lot in an RV with a Louisiana plate, and he wasn’t sure what was going on with them.

LPD Officer Phipps responded and ran records checks which revealed the RV was owned by a couple from Illinois, but it had been reported as stolen out of Las Vegas, Nevada. The license plate also was reported as stolen, also out of Las Vegas.

When Officer Phipps talked to the woman, she allegedly said her husband brought the RV home a couple of days earlier and told her they were going to go on a road trip to visit family in Dugger. Phipps said she also told him that on the way to Dugger, where her family was, she and Markham talked about getting passports and traveling to Canada to join a nudist colony.

LPD Sgt. Logan Hobbs also assisted and attempted to interview Markham who would not talk and wanted a lawyer.  

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was notified the RV had been recovered and would be placed in a secure lot in Linton – it was towed to AAA Towing.

Markham was transported and booked in to the Greene County Jail on a preliminary charge of auto theft, a Level 6 felony. His bond was set at $4,000 surety with ten percent cash allowed - he posted $400 cash and was released.

Early the next day, on November 27, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department received a call around 8:24 a.m. from Jason Wilson with AAA Towing in Linton who called to report a theft. He said AAA Towing had impounded a stolen motor home the day before and sometime during the night, someone had broken the chain on the gate and taken the motor home.

This incident was investigated by GCSD Det. Cullison, assisted by Deputy Jimmy Carpenter – Deputy Carpenter went to the towing company to get a copy of their security video and Det. Cullison reported it shows a man enter the impound lot at 2:39 a.m., then enter the motor home, then drive it off. He said the video clearly shows Markham holding a pair of bolt cutters in his hand while standing beside the motor home.

Det. Cullison attempted to track and locate Markham and visited a couple of residences in the Dugger and Sullivan areas but was unable to locate Markham or the motor home.

Markham’s whereabouts were unknown and he did not show up for his initial hearing in the first case filed against him so a warrant for his arrest was issued.

In addition, based on the information revealed by Det. Cullison’s investigation into the theft at AAA Towing, another case was filed against him on criminal charges of burglary, a Level 5 felony, auto theft – theft of entire vehicle, a Level 6 felony, and criminal mischief, a Class B misdemeanor. A warrant was issued for Markham’s arrest in this case as well.

These warrants have remained outstanding until now.

Markham’s bond in the first case was set at $14,500 surety with ten percent cash allowed and $10,000 surety with ten percent cash allowed in the second.