Man jailed in theft from furniture store

By Reina Cunningham - [email protected]

A Middlesboro man is out on a $50,000 surety bond after being picked up in Laurel County on a bench warrant out of Bell County.

The bench warrant stemmed from an investigation by the Middlesboro Police Department concerning over $30,000 worth of stolen furniture from a local, family owned and operated furniture store.

Joshua Collins, 29, is accused of stealing $30,100 worth of furniture — mostly mattresses — from Dream Furniture.

Collins had worked at Dream Furniture for two years and had been promoted to warehouse manager earlier this year. Shortly after the promotion, Dream Furniture Vice President Heather Burkhart says she noticed an item missing from the store but would have never suspected that Collins had anything to do with it.

Burkhart went straight to the source — surveillance footage.

She said the video footage shows Collins pulling a Dream Furniture truck up to the store’s loading dock, loading merchandise onto it and then driving off. Burkhart has spent days going over footage, finding the same scenes replaying — Collins pulling up in one of her company trucks, loading merchandise and then driving away.

According to Burkhart, theft is the only reasonable explanation for the video footage because Collins does not do deliveries. And even if he did do deliveries, deliveries are not done until after 10 a.m. and all of the video footage is from about 9:15 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.

Collins is due back in court on Aug. 4.

Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-302-9091 or on Twitter @ ReinaDailyNews.

By Reina Cunningham

[email protected]

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