The actions of an off-duty Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper resulted in the arrest of three individuals on burglary, driving while intoxicated and weapons charges yesterday.
Trooper Andrew Ward was returning from a fishing trip in the early morning hours on Thursday when he observed three people packing items from the L&L Convenience Store in Eagle Rock into a vehicle.
Driving his own pickup with a fishing boat in tow, Ward followed the individuals into Arkansas at which time he pulled them over and took the three suspects into custody until Carroll County (Arkansas) and Barry County officers could arrive.
While Ward was following the vehicle, he witnessed a loaded weapon being thrown from the vehicle. As a result, Ward arrested the suspects at gunpoint.
All three individuals, who are from the Webb City and Joplin area, were taken to the Carroll County Jail awaiting extradition back to Barry County on burglary charges. All three suspects were drunk with the driver blowing almost twice the legal limit, making him the least intoxicated of the trio.
Items stolen from L&L Convenience Store included large amounts of whiskey and beer valued at over $500.
"I would like to commend State Trooper Andrew Ward for his off-duty observation," said Sheriff Mick Epperly. "His dedication and perseverance stopped a crime in progress.
"This just proves that officers are really never off duty," Epperly said. "We don't know how many fish he caught early this morning, but he caught three criminals."