Police & Fire

Police nab storage unit burglar

A Malvern man faces felony charges in Clark County as local authorities allege he forced his way into several storage units in Arkadelphia. Court records released this week indicate 23-year-old Israel Ireno Gardea, of Malvern, broke into five storage units on Country Club Road and stole several items.

Gardea became the suspect of the burglaries after a run-in with Arkadelphia police, apparently en route back to Malvern with his loot.

According to an affidavit on file at the Clark County Circuit Clerk’s Office, Sgt. Dean Palmer was patrolling the northern side of town when Gardea pulled into the business where Palmer was stationed. 

Palmer followed as Gardea left the lot and entered the parking lot of another business, where Gardea exited his vehicle and raised its hood. In talking to Gardea, Palmer saw several items in the bed of the pickup truck, including an array of tools and an electric guitar. Gardea told Palmer he was headed to Malvern and said the items belonged to someone he knew, and was allowed to leave.

Palmer then checked on the nearby storage units, finding bolt cutters at the scene where the units had been entered. Later that morning local investigators contacted Malvern police, who had arrested Gardea in connection with thefts there. 

Gardea faces five local counts of breaking or entering, as well as a theft of property charge.