It was a joy ride in a Cooper ISD school bus that ultimately led to Jimmy Dean Earley Jr.’s demise. On Thursday, March 6, he was arrested Burglary of a Vehicle and two counts of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.
After a lengthy investigation by the Delta County Sheriff’s office, Earley was connected to a crime spree occurring late on Saturday, February 28 and into the early morning hours of March 1. It started with the burglary of two vehicles located in the 200 block of East Fort Worth Street in Cooper.
According to reports, a purse, bank checks, perfume and one owner’s manual were stolen from the vehicles. Shortly after the burglary of the vehicles a 2003 Volkswagen, in need of repairs, was stolen from Steve’s Garage at 200 Northeast Second Street in Cooper and was driven approximately four blocks until the engine failed and the vehicle was abandoned.
During the early morning hours of March 1, the defendant broke into the fenced Cooper Independent School bus barn and stole a school bus. The defendant took the bus on a joy ride around the premises and crashed the bus into the bus barn fence.
The investigation was conducted by Sheriff Ricky Smith, Chief Donnie Willingham, Sergeant Charla Anderson, Deputies Adam Hall and Roque Villarreal. The investigation currently remains open as additional information has been provided that may implicate others in these crimes.