Police had warned residents of a man-woman duo who drove a red Jeep Cherokee and were responsible for several midday burglaries in upscale homes. Believing Allen (pictured at right) could be the male half of the team, police arrested him in February.
The arrest prompted Allen’s mother, who was convinced of her son’s innocence, to begin her own investigation. She tracked down what she believed to be the infamous red Jeep and even chased it down Interstate 485 as she called police.
The charges against Allen were later dropped, but so were those against two others charged in the case – Anna Lee Hoard, 34, and Justin Ryan Aldrich, 33 – because of problems in the investigation.
The saga of Allen’s arrest, his mother’s quest to clear her son’s name and the complexities of the case were also extensively covered by South Charlotte Weekly.
Hoard and Aldrich were arrested after Concord police caught them in a break-in last month. They posted bond and were released from Cabarrus County jail, but were arrested again this week – this time in Forest Acres, S.C., outside Columbia.
Police there said a man returning home for lunch saw a red Jeep Cherokee in his driveway and then saw the couple speed off.
Readers who commented on Thursday's story online had varying opinions about the case. Some expressed concern about the police’s investigation while others noted Allen’s criminal record. He’s a recovering heroin addict and convicted felon facing multiple drug-related charges.
“He’s no choir boy,” wrote one reader.
Another said people who use drugs will “pay a price for even the association with this practice.”
By the time Allen was jailed following his February arrest, he had been clean for about seven months, he told the Observer.
But his ongoing road to recovery has been a difficult one – one that’s been helped by his Christian faith, he said. Someday, he hopes to join the ministry and help other addicts.
Check out the Observer on Sunday for a follow-up by columnist Peter St. Onge on Allen’s personal struggle to kick the habit and move forward from this recent ordeal.
Today, Hoard and Aldrich are still being held in a S.C. detention center. Aldrich is being detained on a $75,000 bond for a burglary charge. He’s also facing a Horry County, S.C. charge of receiving stolen property, according to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.