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Police say noise led to arrest

By Seth Burkett 340-2355

HARTSELLE — The loud blows of a sledgehammer gave away a burglar breaking into a gas station early Thursday, said an investigator with the Morgan County Sheriff's Department.

The alleged burglar, William Daniel Moore, 26, was driving a stolen pickup truck loaded with cutting torches, said investigator Kyle Wilson.

At about 1:30 a.m., "he went up to Weaver's Texaco on U.S. 31 in Hartselle, parked behind the building and got stuck in the mud," said Wilson.

Wilson said Moore used a sledgehammer to open the gas station's basement door.

"Witnesses heard two distinctive bangs when he broke the door open with the sledgehammer," Wilson said.

Wilson said authorities were not aware of anything being stolen from Weaver's.

With sheriff's deputies and Hartselle police en route after having received a call about a suspicious vehicle behind the gas station, Moore freed the stuck pickup and headed down U.S. 31.

Wilson said authorities tried to pull Moore over, but "he just wouldn't stop."

Moore turned onto Main Street and stopped the pickup in a parking lot, Wilson said.

"He jumped out and ran," Wilson said. "They chased him for about five blocks on foot. They caught him and took him to the Hartselle Police Department, then transferred him here."

Wilson said he went to inspect the pickup, which had been stolen from a residence on Thompson Road earlier.

"I found seven cutting torches, gloves and a sledgehammer in the bed of his truck. The passenger side of the truck was just covered with mud from where he got stuck," Wilson said.

Moore, of 3301 Old Highway 31, faces charges of third-degree burglary, first-degree receiving stolen property and possession of burglar's tools.

He remained in Morgan County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $27,250 bond.

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