According to information released by Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver, on November 30th shortly before 10:00 p.m. an alert citizen reported a vehicle on fire off County Road 104 just outside Cedar Bluff. Cedar Bluff and Gaylesville Fire Departments were on the scene of an overturned 18-wheeler on Alabama Highway 9 north, so both departments responded and quickly extinguished the blaze.
Meanwhile Cpl. Tony Pettitt was taking a burglary and stolen vehicle report in the Blackwell community. Cpl. Pettitt contacted Shawn Rogers, Cherokee County Fire Investigator, to inform him of the stolen vehicle. Investigator Rogers had heard the radio traffic relating to the vehicle fire and informed Cpl. Pettit. Fire department personnel provided Investigator Rogers with a vehicle description, which matched that of the stolen vehicle, and they also provided a description of a white male seen walking a short distance from the burning vehicle, who was picked up by a red minivan.
Deputy Tyler Perea arrived on the scene and began gathering information. Cedar Bluff Police Chief Steve Walden heard the description of the red minivan and provided Investigator Rogers with a possible suspect. Deputy Jeremy Stepps went to an address off County Road 698 and located a red minivan matching the description. Deputy Stepps made contact with a white male identified as 34 year-old Harley Ray Davidson. Davidson was still wearing the clothes matching the description given by firefighters. Deputy Steps transported Davidson back to the scene where positive identification was made. Deputies then returned to the residence and while speaking with the property owner, noticed in plain view through the window of the van items from the burglary that had just been reported to Cpl. Pettitt. Investigator Rogers arrived on the scene and recovered the stolen property, which was valued between $5,000 - $10,000. Davidson was charged with theft of a motor vehicle, first degree theft of property, third degree burglary, and first degree criminal mischief. Davidson is currently being housed at the Cherokee County Detention Center on a $40,000 bond. Sheriff Shaver says this is an excellent example of multiple public safety agencies working together and sharing information.