One arrested, one sought in W.F. metal thefts


West Frankfort Police Chief Jeff Tharp has announced that one arrest has been made in a theft from an industrial business, and authorities are seeking a second suspect.

Ronald Pulliam

The thefts were reported in mid-December from Coal Age Industrial, located in the Industrial Park, west of the West Frankfort.  At that time, police began surveillance of the business, and video evidence was collected at the scene from security cameras.

On Jan. 3, West Frankfort Police arrested 24-year-old Ronald R. Pulliam of Johnston City. He was charged with theft over $500.

Steven Pulliam

Pulliam is accused of stealing large fabricated pieces of metal, which investigators believe he resold. Coal Age Industrial told investigators that since the thefts began, they have lost $30,000 in metal products.

Tharp said an arrest warrant has been issued for Steven Pulliam, 22, of Johnston City, as well. He is the brother of Ronald Pulliam Jr.  More arrests could be forthcoming, according to WFPD.

Sex offender arrested at event for area children


West Frankfort Police confirm that a man was arrested at 11:40 a.m. Saturday at an annual Christmas charity event. Police Chief Jeff Tharp said that an anonymous tip summoned officers to the annual West Frankfort Elks Club Christmas party for local children.

Taken into custody was convicted sexual predator Roger Walters Jr. According to witnesses, Walters was quietly removed from the gathering, and handcuffed away from the party and out of view of the children attending.

Tharp says that Walters will be charged with Violation of the Child Sex Offender Registry Act.  Among the provisions of the law is one that prohibits a registered sex offender from knowingly being present at a facility providing services exclusively directed at children under age 18. Tharp said officers spoke with Elks officials who said the party was advertised for and specifically catered to children.

Walters was taken to the Franklin County Jail.

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