Thief lands back in jail

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Drug-store burglar charged with stealing, pawning 4-wheeler

By Lisa King


 A local man recently released from jail on bail after he was charged with cutting a hole in a pharmacy ceiling and lowering himself inside to rob the place, has landed behind bars again.

Ralph Taylor Williams, 50, was arrested after  police say he wrote a bad check for more than $5,000 for a four-wheel-drive utility vehicle, which he immediately pawned, then repeated the same scam in another county.

Shelby County Sheriff's detective Jason Rice said Williams stole checks from his ex-wife, went to the local John Deere dealership and used one of them to purchase a Gator, though he already knew she had closed her account.

He forged his wife’s name on a check for  $5,300 to purchase a Gator, then took the vehicle to Henry County, where he pawned it, Rice said.

When the employees of the dealership tried to cash the check, they knew they had a problem, and contacted the sheriff's office.

“We began to investigate and found the stolen Gator in a pawn shop in Henry County,” Rice said. “We recovered it for the dealership, and we put a warrant out on Williams.”

Rice said Williams then went to Oldham County and did the same thing, purchasing a vehicle called a Polaris with another forged check.

Williams is once again lodged in the Shelby County Detention Center, charged with theft. His bond was $5,000 cash in the drugstore robbery. This time, however, he has been denied bond, according to jail officials.  He has not yet been scheduled for arraignment.

Rice said he and Deputy Eric Hettinger worked together with Oldham and Henry County officials, but Rice said he does not know what charges they will be bringing.

Bill Ivers, assistant Henry County attorney, said that there are no charges pending on Williams yet.

On Oct. 3,  Williams was arrested for cutting a hole in the roof of Smith-McKinney Pharmacy and lowering himself down on a rope.

The store's motion alarm went off in the police station, and when officers arrived, they discovered Williams on his knees filling a bag with prescription drugs, and also some aspirin, because he had lost his glasses in the descent from the roof.

He also had burglary tools in his possession.

“We caught him red-handed,” Shelbyville Police Maj. Danny Goodwin said.