A former City of Huntsville employee was arrested Friday in connection with a theft of city property valued at more than $2,000.

According to Huntsville Police Department Detective Marvin Hyvl, Darryl Craig Hightower, 28, of Huntsville was formerly employed by city parks and recreation services, but resigned in July after he was confronted with a city violation he committed.

Hyvl said at the time of Hightower’s resignation, several pieces of city lawn care equipment had been reported missing.

On Aug. 12, more than a month after Hightower left the city’s employment, another city employee noticed several weedeaters for sale at EZ Pawn on 11th Street that closely resembled those reported missing by the city.

The employee then contacted his supervisor, who visited the pawn shop and identified the items as city property, noting that the City of Huntsville labels had been removed.

Upon discovering these items, the supervisor contacted the Huntsville Police Department and Hyvl was assigned to the case.

Hyvl recovered the stolen items from the pawn shop and cross-referenced the serial numbers on each weed eater using Leads On Line, a computerized database compiling all new merchandise gathered by pawn shops.

Using this information, Hyvl was able to trace the stolen items to Hightower, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Huntsville police officers initially tried to apprehend Hightower at his residence, but found him either not at home or unwilling to respond.

In the early morning hours on Friday, an off-duty HPD Detective spotted Hightower at Shenanigan’s night club and apprehended him.

Hightower was booked on felony theft charges at the Walker County Jail shortly after his arrest. His bond was set at $3,000 by Judge James F. Mature of Walker County Pct. 4.

According to Hyvl, in addition to the three weed eaters initially discovered at the pawn shop by city employees, further investigation yielded the recovery of another weedeater, a leaf blower and a chain saw. Investigators are still searching for several more items believed to be stolen by Hightower, including three more weedeaters and a hedge trimmer.

The total value of all the items, according to Hyvl, was $2,178.89.

Hyvl noted that the first of the items was reported to be stolen in May, leading investigators to believe that Hightower’s thefts were not related to his resignation.

Hightower has declined to give a statement to police. His hearing date has not yet been set.

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