Two cases of theft solved by one arrest

OKEECHOBEE — Talk about killing two birds with one stone — a man’s arrest led to the recovery of stolen property from two unrelated cases.

On Feb. 6, a local woman reported two trucks stolen from a 90-year-old woman’s property. Both vehicles, a 1987 Jeep Comanche pickup and a 2003 Chevrolet S-10 pickup, were registered in the name of the woman’s late husband. Detective Mark Shireman of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation, and a neighbor advised that Marvin Brantley had allegedly towed the Jeep truck from the property. The man stated that he had witnessed this in the roadway in front of his house. He indicated to Detective Shireman that his wife had seen Mr. Brantley towing the S-10 pickup through town that same day.

According to the report, the detective made contact with Grant Drennan, who resided on the property. Drennan informed the detective that he had made the discovery of the missing vehicles and told his roommate, who also lived on the property. Drennan allegedly told the detective he did not know where the vehicle went and hadn’t been present when they disappeared.

When Detective Shireman made his way to Mr. Brantley’s place of business on U.S. 441 S., Mr. Brantley reportedly presented him with a bill of sale and advised that he had purchased both trucks and towed them. One truck, the Chevrolet, was still at the place of business, and the other truck was parked at the property of Brantley’s mother.

Brantley gave the detective a description of the man who sold him the trucks and mentioned the man’s girlfriend had only one leg. Initially, according to the report, the man in question was thought to be Grant Drennan, but contact was made with the girlfriend, who stated that she actually dates Grant’s brother, Ronald. Mr. Brantley allegedly agreed to call if the suspect returned to his business.

On Feb. 9, Detective Shireman was called by the receptionist at Mr. Brantley’s business, who reported that the suspect had returned.

Ronald Drennan

Mr. Brantley informed Detective Shireman that two men, later identified as Ronald Drennan and Steve Crose, attempted to sell him a water pump.

He directed his employee to call law enforcement because of the earlier reported theft. He said he offered the men $80 for the pump, and that he would have to break a $100 bill to get $20 for gasoline and give the men the other eighty. Initially, according to Mr. Brantley, the men wanted to barter because they’d looked up the water pump online and found it valued at $1,300. He stated that he told them $80 or nothing, and they finally agreed.

Mr. Brantley then told the men to meet him at the Marathon Station in the 200 block of U.S. 441 S., where he would break the bill and give them their cut.

Detective Shireman agreed to meet Mr. Brantley at the Marathon Station, where Mr. Brantley directed the detective to the suspect sitting in a silver Ford Taurus.

At the same time Drennan was being arrested for the theft of the vehicles, the water pump was reported stolen from a construction site at the intersection of N.W. 128th Ave. and State Road 70. (An article about this incident appeared in the Sunday, Feb. 12, edition of the Okeechobee News.)

Mr. Crose reportedly told the detective that Drennan had already been in possession of the water pump when Drennan picked him up from his house.

Drennan was arrested on two counts of grand theft auto, one count of grant theft, and three counts of dealing in stolen property. The total bond was set at $75,000.

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