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Atmore man arrested for theft

An Atmore man was arrested on theft and criminal mischief charges Feb. 8, according to the Atmore Police Department.

Dennis Dean Sothman, 41, of Atmore, was arrested and charged with theft of property III, unauthorized use of a vehicle, criminal mischief III and breaking and entering of a vehicle.

The arrest came soon after Sothman’s vehicle was identified via video surveillance at Atmore Christian School.

ACS Chairman Jerry Gehman, who addressed the Atmore City Council, thanking the police department for its swift action, said the officers were on top of the case.

“Someone took it upon themselves to got to Atmore Christian School and steal the headlights out of our bus,” Gehman said. “They are LED bulbs and worth $500 each. They damaged the bus and hit a fire hydrant. And, also syphoned gas out of another van.”

Gehman said due to surveillance video that was installed at ACS, the APD, along with school officials, were able to get a good look at the wrongdoing.

“Chief Chuck Brooks sent over two officers and we looked at the surveillance,” he said. “The cameras were clear and could see the van doing the wrongdoing. Within 5 minuts, an officer spotted the van at his parent’s coin laundromat.”

Gehman said the officer pursued the offender and after an investigation, made an arrest.

“Within two hours, they (ACS) had the light bulbs back, gas can, keys as well as other items that were taken from Atmore Christian School,” Gehman said. “The offender is in jail. I’m thankful for that quick, fast immediate response. They were smart about their observation. I would likek to commend Chuck and his staff for a job well done.”