Police arrest couple accused of stealing from Harlan motel

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email


A man and woman wanted for stealing from a Harlan motel last year were arrested.

Harlan City Police say in December, John Rutherford and Crystal Barrett, also known as Crystal Craig, stole almost everything from a room at the Mount Aire Motel.

They were caught on surveillance video.

Police say the pair was arrested this week in Bell County and brought back to Harlan to face the theft charges.

Police say it was an unusual heist. They say a couple spent one night at a Harlan County motel and then stole nearly everything inside their room.

The theft was caught on video at the Mount Aire Motel. Now police need your help finding the culprits.

Surveillance video from the Mount Aire Motel shows a man and woman checking in on December 3rd. They stayed one night.

"When they checked out, they decided to take several items with them," said Harlan Police Chief Mike Thomas.

Surveillance video from the next morning shows them loading up the car, but police say many of the items belonged to the motel.

Police say when the housekeeper went into the room after they left, nearly everything was missing, including the sheets, towels, the coffee maker, the ice bucket, and even the trash cans.

"You hear stories all the time of maybe somebody wants to take a souvenir from the trip, but this is a little ridiculous. They took every towel, every sheet, and everything from the hotel room," said Thomas.

Motel employees told us they could not comment. Police say the theft added up to several hundred dollars.

Harlan Police say they have arrest warrants for the man and woman but need help finding them.

Police know who they are because the motel employees got copies of their driver's licenses at check-in.

Police say the woman is 37-year-old Crystal Craig of Pathfork, and the man is 43-year-old John Rutherford. He has a Michigan address.

Police say both of them have a history of theft but do not know why they stole from the motel.

"Just some things they may have needed or to sell or gift, but whatever the reason, they decided they needed it more than the hotel did," said Thomas.

Police believe they are either in Harlan, Bell, or Knox Counties.

If you see Rutherford or Craig or know where they are, you can call the Harlan Police Department at 606-573-1121.

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