Bella Vista man arrested in connection with 14 burglaries

Ben Daniel

FAYETTEVILLE -- A Bella Vista man has been arrested on 14 counts of commercial burglary after police say he repeatedly broke into businesses and then broke holes in the walls to enter other businesses in the same building.

Ben Daniel, 34, of 4 Shelly Drive in Bella Vista, was arrested on a warrant filed in Washington County Circuit Court and booked into the Washington County Detention Center in connection with 14 counts of commercial burglary. Daniel was also charged with criminal mischief for causing more than $25,000 in damage during the break-ins, with theft of property with the property valued at more than $5,000, with fleeing and with possession of firearm by certain persons.

Police were called to Boatman Tattoo, 1617 N. College Avenue on Tuesday on a report of a burglary. The business owner told police someone entered the business and taken some pieces of tattoo equipment valued at $2,250. The owner of the also reported a large hole had been broken in the sheet rock separating the tattoo business from the business next door, Photos by Zayne.

The owner of the photography shop was contacted and came to the business, according to the police report. The owner of the shop reported several cases of cameras, lenses and other photography equipment, valued at $7,800, had been taken.

Officers found another hole in the sheet rock separating the photo shop from the Allstate Insurance office next door. The owner of the insurance office told officers a gold ring valued at $300-$400 had been taken.

Police investigators recognized the method as similar to one used in a series of burglaries under investigation. Daniel had been identified as a suspect in the burglaries, and a warrant for his arrest had been obtained, but he hadn't been found.

A Washington County Sheriff's Office deputy conducted a traffic stop Wednesday at the Walgreen's pharmacy on Robinson Road in Springdale. The passenger in the vehicle fled and was later apprehended and identified as Daniel. Daniel was taken to the jail on the arrest warrant.

Investigators learned Daniel recently left a residence in the Nob Hill community where he had been staying, and the owner of the home gave police permission to search the room Daniel had been using. Officers found the tattoo equipment, cameras and photography equipment taken in the burglaries the previous night.