Authorities have arrested two suspects that were involved in a theft of a church van in Horseshoe Bend plus additional thefts in Horseshoe Bend, Elizabeth, and Cave City.
Early Sunday morning, July 10, staff of the First Baptist Church in Horseshoe Bend reported to authorities that the church building had been broken into and that items including a guitar and the church van were stolen.
While Lt. Charles Melton, Sgt. Gabe Sanders and Horseshoe Bend assigned deputies were investigating, they developed at least two people of interest, located the guitar, and continued the investigation. During this investigation, it was reported that Doty Family Funeral Home of Horseshoe Bend had a van damaged. Someone had attempted to hotwire the vehicle that same night.
On July 11, Lt. Melton learned that his prime suspect had been arrested in Cave City. The suspect had fled from Cave City Police and had shot at them before wrecking the vehicle he was driving. Mac Ryan Chitwood, age 26 of Horseshoe Bend, currently in the Sharp County Jail, has been charged in Izard County in connection with the church and funeral home events. An Elizabeth man, 18 year old Dalton Michael Pflaumer, has also been arrested and incarcerated in the Baxter County Detention Center on felony charges related to the burglary of a private residence, vehicle thefts, and other thefts.
The events leading up to the arrest of Pflaumer came about in the early hours of July 11, when the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office was notified that officers in Sharp County had been involved in a vehicle pursuit with a 2001 Volvo V10 driven by Chitwood. It was determined that the registered owners of the vehicle involved in that pursuit reside in the St. Louis, Missouri area but have a vacation home in Baxter County on Diamond Bay Road. The owners were contacted and stated that their vehicle should still be parked at their residence on Diamond Bay Road, and indicated they had not been at that residence since July 5. Later that same morning, Corp. Kristofer Savino went to the residence on Diamond Bay Road and found that it had been burglarized. Items missing from the residence, in addition to their 2001 Volvo V10, were a handgun and a shotgun. It appeared that people had been squatting in the residence for a period of time. Entry had been made through the back door of the house.
Chitwood, who had been apprehended in Sharp County, told authorities there that he and another person had stolen a white van belonging to the First Baptist Church in Horseshoe Bend. He indicated the pair had travelled in the stolen church van to the Hand Cove area in Baxter County. They had concealed the stolen van in a heavily wooded area approximately one mile away from the residence they chose to burglarize.
Chitwood and Pflaumer parted company in the Brockwell area of Izard County after leaving the residence in the stolen Volvo. The vehicle pursuit involving Chitwood driving the stolen Volvo in Sharp County occurred afterwards.
The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office utilized its helicopter on the evening of July 11 to fly over the Hand Cove/Diamond Bay area in an attempt to locate the stolen and abandoned church van. After flying over the area for several minutes, the van was spotted from the air through dense foliage. The van was subsequently towed and removed for evidentiary processing.
In addition to the burglary investigation, the Sheriff’s Office had taken reports the previous day, July 10, that a private boat dock near Baxter CR 863, in the same area, had been entered and several items were stolen from the dock and from boats in the dock. These included speakers, binoculars, and fishing equipment. A cellphone was found on one of the boats. This cellphone was found to belong to Pflaumer. According to reports,

Pflaumer

Pflaumer

Chitwood

Chitwood

Pflaumer was located on July 12, admitted to committing the crimes with the other suspect, and helped investigators locate and recover some of the stolen items.
As to the funeral home, both Chitwood and Pflaumer have been charged with breaking and entering, a class D felony; and criminal mischief, a class D felony. Relating to the church, both have been charged with commercial burglary and theft of property, both class D felonies. The pair have an Izard County Circuit Court date of August 10. Pflaumer remains in custody in lieu of a $50,000 bond.

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