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Theft suspect believed to be behind crimes in three counties

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT/WYMT) - It was a simple surveillance photo that lead to a tip, and that tip lead police to Mark Westfelt, who's accused with stealing two iPads. But investigators say that may only be the tip of the iceberg.

"He is a suspect in some other thefts and other businesses. Walmart type stores, department stores," stated Laurel County Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, "so we're definitely looking into that."

Deputies with the Laurel County Sheriff's Office can't quite put a number to the cases Westfelt is suspected in, but they say his method seems to be the common denominator to other crimes.

"These employees noticed that this guy wasn't dressed properly for this time of year. If you've got a big overcoat on, then it's obvious that you're in there trying to do something you shouldn't do," explained Deputy Acciardo, who said Westfelt may even be tied to crimes in two other counties, like Knox and Whitley Counties.

"Of course we're going to look at other area crimes, too, not just the ones that we originally feel like he's responsible for, but others as well."

Deputies say getting this suspect off the street will go a long way in stopping these thefts.

Deputy Acciardo said, "It's going to cut down on crimes in this area because he's in jail he's not going to be doing these crimes."

So for now, investigators say they'll continue to study the evidence, including surveillance images from other theft cases, and when they present their case to the grand jury they feel their the list of charges will grow.

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