The Arkansas City Police Department arrested two Texas residents March 7 in connection with a vehicle burglary that led to the discovery of narcotics.
John Eric Lamb, 35, and Tonya Lynn Swonger, 38, both of Wills Point, Texas, were arrested on suspicion of one felony count each of burglary of a motor vehicle, forgery, possession of methamphetamine and possession of opiates or narcotics. Swonger faces two total counts of forgery.
Both Lamb and Swonger also were arrested on suspicion of one misdemeanor count each of endangering a child, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of stolen property and theft of property valued at less than $1,000.
Lamb was transported to and booked into the Cowley County Jail in lieu of $18,000 bond through Cowley County District Court in Arkansas City. He remained in custody at the time of this release.
Swonger was transported to and booked into the county jail in lieu of $20,000 bond through Arkansas City district court. She also remained in custody at the time of this release.
Officers were dispatched about 9:36 a.m. March 7 for a report of a vehicle burglary in the Walmart Supercenter parking lot, located at 2701 N. Summit St.
The victim, a 66-year-old Arkansas City woman, reported her purse had been stolen from her parked car.
While officers were investigating, she received a call from a local bank informing her that someone was attempting to pass one of her personal checks.
Police responded to the area of Radio Lane and Summit Street, locating a vehicle with a Connecticut license plate.
The vehicle was stopped, and they made contact with Lamb and Swonger.
Officers determined that Swonger had allegedly attempted to pass the stolen check. Items observed in the vehicle matched those reported stolen from the victim’s care. The pair was taken into custody.
A 5-month-old infant was found in the back seat of the car and transported to Cowley County Juvenile Intake, pending a police protective custody hearing.
A search warrant was executed on the rental vehicle and turned up evidence linking the two to not only the earlier burglary report, but also another vehicle burglary reported at 5 a.m. that day in Stafford.
Police also discovered in the vehicle substances thought to be heroin and methamphetamine.
During the investigation, officers also learned that a personal check belonging to the Stafford victim had been passed.
They also determined that the Arkansas City victim’s credit card had been used at a local convenience store. A search of the store’s dumpster found more evidence linked to both cases.
A defendant’s guilt or innocence is to be determined by a court of law.
This information was provided by City of Arkansas City Public Information Officer and Special Projects Coordinator Andrew Lawson.