Local News

Crime briefs

Man arrested on drug, theft charges SEBRING - When one man gave information about his whereabouts to authorities, that didn't end up boding well for another man, according to a report released Thursday. The man told authorities that he was buying methamphetamine from the man at the time in which they were interested, who ended up being arrested on drug charges and in connection with two theft cases that occurred last year. Officers ended up searching the residence of the accused drug dealer and saw him staring at the top of a refrigerator, a report said.
There they found a pipe with methamphetamine, the report said. Joseph Chase McClelland, 29, 605 Eucalyptus Ave., Sebring, who is on felony probation, was arrested Oct. 22 and charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. In one of the theft cases, authorities say that McClelland, rather than choosing to be a good samaritan, stole a wallet another customer left on a counter. McClelland was arrested on a warrant Wednesday and charged with third-degree grand theft, A report said that a man left the wallet on the counter and returned moments later, but the wallet was gone. Video showed a man known by the clerk taking the wallet off the counter, the report said. In a separate incident, he was accused of stealing a television from the K-Mart Department Store and then pawning it, a report said. Video showed him taking the television, the report said. He was charged with third-degree grand theft, giving false information to a pawnshop owner and dealing in stolen property. Man arrested on drug charges SEBRING - A broken tail light led to a Sebring man being arrested on drug charges, according to a report released Wednesday. Andrew Lee Pieper, 24, 4614 Howard St., Sebring, was arrested by the Highlands County Sheriff's Office and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. The arrest came after deputies stopped Pieper's vehicle because of the tail light and had a K9 unit member sniff for drugs, the report said. After the K9 detected drugs, deputies found a scale and methamphetamine, a report said. They also found that Pieper had brass knuckles, the report added.