Multi-County Theft Suspects Back in Jail for Burglary

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

A pair of thieves who were released from the Leon County jail just weeks ago are back in jail accused of the same crime.

Authorities tell me 22-year-old Ethan Tinkham and his girlfriend Jennifer Kay Walla were just getting ready to sit down and eat barbeque yesterday when authorities made the arrest. The car they were driving in was allegedly filled with stolen property.

Their arrest led them to this Normangee storage unit where Tinkham and Walla would house the stolen property.

As soon as a warrant was signed to allow authorities inside the OSR Storage located on OSR and 39 in Normangee – authorities were able to immediately recognize property that had been reported from at least five different burglary cases ranging from Hill Top Lakes in Leon County all the way to Limestone County. This is the second storage unit authorities have seized in the last 30 days -- that's not including all of the stolen property that's already been seized from their rental home in North Zulch.

“The burglaries have been occurring for several months before they were actually caught the first time and now and once we learned their motive and their pattern on what they were doing it just unfolded since then,” explained Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis. “My investigators have done a good job of continuing their investigation and finding the missing links and putting them together; it's just like the storage sheds we located following the arrest yesterday."

The investigation is far from over. But so far the two are responsible for stealing at least $95,000 in stolen property. Investigators also say during the burglaries it's believed the two would make themselves at home, go as far as making meals at the dinner table, and have sex inside various bedrooms of some of the victims’ homes.

"We believe some of the collectable items we found here in the storage to be from a burglary out of an antique store in Marquez,” said Leon County Investigator Victor Smith. “This is new evidence in that crime that's going to link them to it."

Tinkham, who is a Normangee native, has been arrested by the Leon County Sheriff's Department three times in the last 30 days for this crime.

Walla, who is originally from Jewett, has been arrested twice in the last 30 days. The latest arrest comes just a few weeks after her release from McLennan County Jail near Waco for warrants of theft and possession of marijuana. Both remain in the Leon County Jail on $100,000 bond.

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