A Baxter County Jail Inmate, 41 year old Parolee DEREK BEN BAKER of Flippin, Arkansas, who has been incarcerated since January 10, 2024 after being arrested by the Mountain Home Police Department on a Breaking or Entering charge and Parole Absconder charge, has been charged with additional crimes.
The Sheriff’s Office took a report on January 2, 2024 from a victim residing on Baxter CR 303 in rural Mountain Home that his parked vehicle had been broken into. His wallet, which contained five credit cards, cash, and personal identification documents had been stolen. Also taken from the bed of his truck was a Stihl Chainsaw valued at over $500.
During the investigation, it was learned that on December 29, 2023, the victim’s Lowe’s credit card had been used. During the investigation, DEREK BAKER and CHERI BECKER were identified as having been the persons who used the victim’s card at Lowe’s. It was also determined that they had used another of the victim’s credit cards at the Gassville Exxon and another at two locations in Ozark County, Missouri. The unauthorized use of these cards is being investigated by law enforcement in both states.
On January 10, 2024, DEREK BAKER was interviewed by Baxter County Sheriff’s Investigators. He admitted that he and CHERI BECKER were together when the victim’s credit cards had been used at those various locations. He acknowledged receiving items through purchases made with the stolen credit cards, but he denied knowledge that the cards were stolen.
On January 14, 2024, CHERI BECKER was interviewed by the Gassville Police Department. She admitted to being at the victim’s residence with DEREK BAKER and stated that BAKER got into the victim’s truck, taking the victim’s wallet and chainsaw. She also admitted to going to the various locations mentioned where the two of them used the stolen credit cards.
Based upon this information, the Sheriff’s Office obtained an arrest warrant for Inmate DEREK BAKER for charges of:
Breaking or Entering – Felony
Theft of Property – Felony
Theft of Property – Misdemeanor
Habitual Offender- Felony Penalty Enhancement
His bond on these new charges will be $15,000.
DEREK BAKER has three previous felony convictions that qualify him as a Habitual Offender.
The investigation is continuing, and additional charges against DEREK BAKER are expected to be forthcoming from the Mountain Home Police Department, Gassville Police Department, and the Ozark County, Missouri Sheriff’s Office.
Similar charges are expected to be filed as well against CHERI BECKER, who is not currently in custody.