Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 23, 2013

59-year-old accused of stealing at Raceland graduation

Mark Maynard
The Independent

RACELAND — A 59-year-old Greenup County man is accused of stealing from students during Raceland-Worthington High School’s graduation on Tuesday night.

During the graduation ceremony, Doran O’Neal of Raceland stole about $40 and an iPhone from purses placed in a side room, according to the Raceland Police Department. Officers said the theft was captured on surveillance video and they were able to identify O’Neal.

Raceland Police Chief Don Sammons said the graduation was finished around 9 p.m. and O’Neal was in custody before 10 p.m.

“It didn’t take long,” he said. “As soon as graduation was over, a lot of students were finding that their purses had been gone through. We immediately went through the school surveillance tape.”

Officers had questioned O’Neal outside the school area earlier. He was let into the school by a janitor, Sammons said. The purses were in the cafeteria area of the gymnasium.

“He told them he was a diabetic and needed a drink of water,” Sammons said. “He may have had the items on him at the time.”

After viewing the crime on tape, the officers went immediately to O’Neal’s home in Raceland to talk with him. His 22-year-old son, Justin O’Neal, answered the door. According to investigators, he initially told officers his father wasn’t home before finally admitting he was there.

Police said they found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the home. They arrested Justin O’Neal on a charge of hindering apprehension and Doran O’Neal for burglary, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and receiving stolen property. Investigators said he used some of the money to buy pizza, beer and Pepsi.

Both men are in the Greenup County Detention Center.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.