PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - It was a busy holiday weekend in Pikeville at the first ever Hatfield and McCoy Heritage Days Festival. Unfortunately, a string of car break-ins left many festival goers the victims of theft.
Pikeville Police say a thief was busy on Sunday after they received more than 11 theft reports throughout the day.
Police Chief Phillip Reed says, "We received numerous complaints when people were going back to their vehicle after the event and noticed that someone had been in their vehicle and stolen items."
Officials say the reports received were from the downtown area with many coming from along the bypass around the riverfill, which is where a majority of Sunday's crowd was.
Amanda Howard says, "After the race was over we went to the carnival with our kids, it was closed so we went straight back to the truck. When the kids got in the truck they started screaming that all their iPods, iPads, and things were gone...everything in the truck was gone."
"I was frustrated last night after hearing all the reports coming in, I went to bed last night with that on my mind. Here all these people are coming to enjoy the event and now they are having to make a police report that their property has been stolen," says Chief Reed.
Frustrated but not ready to give up on locating the items, Officer Joseph Slone approached a man acting suspicious around 1:30 Monday morning.
"The officer felt he was still out trying to locate other victims. Just as an initial approach, the officer went above and beyond to try and gain as much information to see if he could be related to these crimes and in fact he was," explains Reed.
Officer Slone found 22-year-old, Johnathan Pugh, in possession of a stolen cell phone, he then lead the officer to his truck where officials recovered an estimated $10,000 worth of stolen items.
Reed says, "It doesn't happen all the time but when people can get their property back, that makes us feel like we've done something more than just take a report."
While it is not how folks planned to spend their Labor Day, they are thankful to have their items back.
Pugh is being held at the Pike County Detention Center on a theft charge. Officials say more charges will be filed.