Hot Air Balloon Heist Uncovered Chop Shop
“The balloon is irreplaceable. It was specifically designed and made. The manufacturer is no longer in business so it’s not something I can replicate. So it hurts,” owner Rick Ferrall told Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri at the time.But two days later, the couple said police had found it on a Dacula farm on Stanley Road.
Police said they tracked the suspects down through various tips. Amber Spinks, 24, and Jason Gordon, 33, were arrested after they were caught riding stolen four-wheelers in Barrow County, Gwinnett police Cpl. Edwin Ritter said. He said detectives searched the area and found pieces of equipment stolen from the hot air balloon trailer. Officers also found parts of a lock that possibly belonged to the trailer at the home of 32-year-old Susan Owen, Ritter said.
The investigation also led to the arrests of Dustin Martin, 23, Brandon Steedley, 27, and Jessica Baker, 25 at a Dacula home. Ritter said they were responsible for running a chop shop. Douglas Hampton, a 23-year-old wanted on an outstanding warrant, was also arrested at the home.
Spinks father, Richard, has also been charged with stealing the hot air balloon. He remains at large.