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Woman charged in theft of day care bus

Posted August 4, 2011

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— A Hope Mills woman has been charged with helping her boyfriend and his cousin steal a bus from a day care and cut it up for scrap metal, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said that Jessica Diane Smith, 25, helped Tommy Lee Seals, 29, and Eddie Ray Smith, 19, after they stole a bus from Pamper, Hugs and Luv Daycare Center, 634 Sandhill Road in Hope Mills, on July 20.

The two men took the bus to Eddie Smith's home at 622 Liberty Plank Road in St. Pauls, then repainted the bus, cut it into pieces and sold the metal at various scrap metal garages, investigators said.

Jessica Smith is the girlfriend of Tommy Seals, authorities said. Seals and Eddie Smith are cousins.

Jessica Smith, of 6476 Alamance Road, surrendered to authorities late Wednesday and was charged with three counts of obtaining property by false pretense, accessory after the fact and conspiracy. She has been released from the Cumberland County Detention Center.

Eddie Smith and Seals, also of 6476 Alamance Road, face charges of larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, conspiracy, breaking and entering a motor vehicle, attempted larceny of a motor vehicle and three counts obtaining property by false pretenses. They were being Thursday under separate $30,000 secured bonds.

Seals was placed on probation June 30 after being convicted of possessing stolen goods, according to state Department of Correction records. He has 19 convictions from the past eight years and has served one 11-month jail term for a probation violation.

12 Comments

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  • LoveBeingAMommy Aug 5, 2011

    I don understand what she did....... did she see them cutting up the bus and not say anything?

  • carroln Aug 5, 2011

    caryzoo; what has knightdale got to do with hope mills? maybe i missed something but the bus was stolen from grays creek just outside of fayetteville. My friend and fellow firefighters mom owned the day care and the bus! They recovered 6 feet of the bus from cohen green salvage on blount street in fayetteville. They need to take these kids and make them work at cohen green until they make enough money to pay for a new bus.

  • Viewer Aug 5, 2011

    Probation fails again.

  • BigUNCFan Aug 4, 2011

    She looks guilty in her photo.

  • caryzoo Aug 4, 2011

    Sunshine1040...are you serious? Did you really call this in and they waited? If so, maybe Knightdale cops have some explaining to do.

  • caryzoo Aug 4, 2011

    ALL of their bonds should be an amount equal to the value of the bus...SECURED, that way the bus will be paid for.

  • sunshine1040 Aug 4, 2011

    Tol you to start looking for the bus when it was first reported stolen not wait two weeks to even get a mention in the paper

  • mac240 Aug 4, 2011

    This “Catch and Release Program” we call a judicial system needs some serious overhauling!

  • YNCSW51 Aug 4, 2011

    Times are tight for a lot of people amazing what people resort to instead of pounding the pavement looking for employment or a way to make a honest living.

  • bleedenblackngold Aug 4, 2011

    What a bunch of rocket scientists!!!!! How about all the effort they put into stealing, painting, cutting and selling they put into finding a job and being a contributing memeber of society! Oh wait, I forgot handouts combined with criminal behavior is much less work!!!

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