CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A Chilton County man is behind bars for allegedly burglarizing multiple businesses and homes leading up to the Fourth of July holiday.
Tyler Maddox is also accused of breaking into the Chilton County Humane Society, stealing pizza and Slim Fast from the staff fridge, and stealing hundreds of dollars in shelter equipment.
According to jail records, Maddox was arrested July 4, and his alleged crimes begin as early as late June. Two businesses and one home were burglarized on Shade Tree Drive during that time, including the Chilton County Humane Society. Surveillance video from the shelter, time stamped from the early morning hours of July 2, helped lead to Maddox’s arrest.
Humane Society President Katherine Reese says staff noticed something was wrong when they came into work on Monday. Reese says they believe Maddox broke in through the side door after scaling a fence.
“It looked like a cat was chasing a dog. Everything was scattered,” said Kennel Manager Meggan Nicholson.
Among the items stolen were medicine, syringes, and batteries. In addition, some supplies brought by the shelter staff from home were missing, including a digital camera used to photograph the animals. Those pictures are placed online and on social media, part of the outreach efforts for adoptions.
Reese says losing these supplies costs the shelter up to $1,500, a heavy blow for a humane society that’s been struggling financially.
“It’s very detrimental. We have to replace these things. The syringes are not cheap,” Reese said. “We have to resecure the the place, and we have to put in more security cameras, because there are parts of the building he was in, that we don’t know what he did.”
Moreover, there’s an emotional burden left behind. Not only do many of the shelter staff feel their own property was violated, they know the alleged burglar personally. Reese says when she opened the surveillance tape, she recognized the face right away. She says Tyler Maddox is a former employee.
“It’s just heartless for someone to come in and ransack us when we’ve worked so hard to get to where we are now, and now you’ve got someone who wants to tear us back down,” said Nicholson.
The Chilton County Humane Society is working on several efforts, including a new intake center for animals. That will cost money, though, and the burglary puts a dent in that. If you want to help, you can find out more on their website at Chilton County Humane Society.