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Bentonville man accused of stealing woman’s keys from courtroom, then her car

by Tracy Neal | June 8, 2023 at 5:45 a.m.
Chase Packwood

BENTONVILLE -- A Bentonville man is suspected of stealing a woman's keys in a courtroom and then stealing her car.

Chase Packwood, 26, was arrested Monday in connection with theft of motor vehicle, unauthorized use of a vehicle, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, possession of firearm by certain person and possession of a controlled substance.

Prosecutors haven't filed formal charges against him.

He was being held Wednesday in the Benton County Jail on a $150,000 bond.

Packwood was on Monday's criminal docket for Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green. Packwood never appeared in front of the judge. He left the courthouse before his case was even called.

Sarah Gordon, 44, of Illinois, was also in court for a criminal case.

Gordon told a Benton County sheriff's deputy her 2005 Suzuki Ariel had been taken while she was in court, according to a probable cause affidavit. She filed a report with the Benton County Sheriff's Office deputies assigned to the courthouse.

Her purse and identification were in her vehicle since large purses can't be brought into the courthouse.

Deputies watched security footage from inside the courtroom and the parking lot, according to the affidavit. Deputies saw Gordon seated in the courtroom and the recording shows her getting up from a bench and leaving a set of car keys, the affidavit states.

A man later identified as Packwood was observed taking the keys from the bench and leaving the building, according to the affidavit.

The deputies watched the recording and observed Packwood leave the building, then go to the parking lot and leave in Gordon's vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Gordon told deputies she did not know Packwood and never gave him permission to take her vehicle, according to the affidavit.

A bulletin was issued to locate Packwood and the vehicle. A sheriff's deputy familiar with Packwood went to an area on North 30th Street in Rogers that Packwood frequented, found him and arrested him, according to the affidavit.

The deputy found an unloaded Heritage .22 caliber revolver and a bag containing suspected methamphetamine in the car. Gordon said neither the methamphetamine nor the gun were hers and neither item was in her vehicle prior to the theft, according to the affidavit.

Gordon told Judge Green she had come from Illinois for court. Green apologized to Gordon for someone from her court stealing the car.

Gordon didn't appear for a scheduled court appearance in February, but did appear before the judge Monday. Green quashed the warrant for Gordon's arrest for failure to appear.

"At least something good happened to you today since your car was taken," Green said.

Packwood may face an additional felony charge since the judge ordered a warrant issued for Packwood's arrest after his failure to appear in court. Deputies also discovered there was already a warrant for Packwood in connection with another case concerning unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Green signed an order Wednesday recusing from Packwood's cases since she could possibly be called as a witness against him. The cases were transferred to Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren's court.

Print Headline: Bentonville man jailed in connection with theft of car


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