Worker allegedly robs movie theatre, colleague

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A Hot Springs man was arrested on multiple charges Friday night following allegations that he robbed a local movie theater, stole several items from a co-worker and was in possession of drugs at the time of his arrest.

Brennan Heath Thomas, 33, who lists a Cottonwood Street address, was arrested shortly before 9 p.m. and charged with commercial burglary and possession of the controlled substance methamphetamine, each punishable by 10 years in prison, two counts of theft of property over $1,000 and possession of drug paraphernalia, each punishable by up to six years, and one misdemeanor count of harassment, punishable by up to up to one year in prison.

Thomas, who lists no criminal history, was being held on bail totaling $15,500 and was scheduled to appear in Garland County District Court on Monday.

According to the affidavit on the burglary and theft charges, on March 17, the manager of the VIP Cinema, 351 Lake Hamilton Drive, said she was “hanging out” at her apartment on Lake Hamilton Drive with a theater employee, identified like Thomas, and she fell asleep while he was still there.

She said she woke up around 10:30 a.m. to find Thomas had left with more than $1,300 in cash, two laptops, worth a total of $2,400, and numerous medications. She also discovered that her keys to the theater were missing and noted that all the missing items were there before she fell asleep and that Thomas was the only other person there.

She said she went to the theater and found her keys had been used to open the front door and then left behind. She discovered that the manager’s office had been entered and $2,400 had been removed from the safe.

Hot Springs Police Detective Matthew Cheatham viewed theater security video that allegedly showed a man walking to the front door carrying the director’s laptop bag and other items she had reported missing.

The man used keys to enter the theatre, removed unknown items from behind the counter, then entered the office where he was seen accessing the safe and withdrawing cash. The man then left and was picked up outside by a taxi.

Cheatham was able to compare a driver’s license photo of Thomas to the man in the video and confirm that it was indeed him. A warrant for his arrest for burglary and theft was issued on March 25.

According to the harassment charge affidavit, on September 7, 2020, a woman living on Oakcliff Street filed a complaint stating shortly after 4:30 a.m. that day that a known suspect, identified as Thomas, called her. on the phone.

She said she didn’t realize it was him when she took the call because he called from a different number. He would have said to her: “I am at your house, let me in. She said she told him to leave her alone and hung up.

About five minutes later, his power was cut off. She said she wasn’t sure what happened so she walked out with a flashlight. As soon as she walked out, she reportedly received a text from Thomas saying, “I can see you and your flashlight”, which scared her, so she went back inside.

She said she repeatedly told Thomas to leave her alone, but he refused and continued to contact her.

Once it was daylight, she checked the circuit breaker outside her house and discovered that the box was open and had been turned off. She also discovered that her home’s gas had been turned off from the outside.

She said Thomas messaged her again saying “if she wanted to play games, he would play”. The woman indicated that she wanted to file a complaint and a warrant for Thomas’ arrest for harassment was issued on September 10, 2020.

According to the Thomas arrest affidavit on Friday, shortly before 9 p.m., HSPD Cpl. Richard Nunez contacted Thomas at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, 2705 Central Ave., and took him into custody on all warrants.

While searching Thomas after his arrest, Nunez allegedly found a glasses case in his jeans pocket containing a bag containing 0.5 grams of what later tested positive for methamphetamine and a glass pipe containing residue of methamphetamine, resulting in additional charges.

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