North Zulch Couple Charged in Multi-County Theft Ring

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

Thou shall not steal -- it's a commandment that a North Zulch couple claimed to live by. But after a string of multi-county burglaries, the two are now in jail for theft.

“Inside the residence they had written on the wall, ‘If these walls could talk,’ “explained Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis."I don't know what the meaning was behind why they painted it on the wall."

But what if the walls could talk? In this particular theft investigation, including the furniture, the couch, and even the walls inside the couple's home -- the walls are not only talking -- they're telling stories.

It all began several months ago when 39-year-old Jennifer Kay Walla and her alleged boyfriend 22-year-old Ethan Tinkham moved in to a home on Central Avenue in North Zulch. A shopping list was made for their empty home; and a several month-long shopping-spree would follow.

If you ask Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis, he'll be the first to tell you this isn't your typical shopping spree.

“Everything in the residence was stolen. They would break into homes in Limestone and Leon Counties and keep everything that they could to decorate their house, like appliances and pictures, crosses and then whatever they could sell for money, they would sell it on craigslist,” said Ellis.

Ellis says an eye witness called Limestone County authorities with a detailed description of Tinkham’s silver Chevrolet Silverado pickup after an alleged burglary. After following enough leads, a search warrant led to the discovery of thousands of dollars in stolen property inside their North Zulch rental home.

"One of the homes they broke into, one of the victims, her great grandfather gave her a bible,” explained Ellis. “And once we ran a search warrant on the residence we were able to recover the bible.”

Before the couple knew it, their shopping spree was over.

“Right now we have four burglaries in Limestone County that we know of, and possibly, in Leon County, we're looking at five burglaries...maybe more,” Ellis said. “The saying that was written up on the wall said, ‘If these walls could talk,’ I think the walls did talk because everything in the residence was stolen; everything from the pictures on the wall, to the alcohol, crosses, right down to the bible."

According to records, Walla was transported to the McLennan County jail for outstanding warrants of theft and possession of marijuana.

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