BARLING, Ark. (KFSM) — Barling Police are asking for the public's help in finding a fugitive wanted in a jewelry scam and accused of fleeing while on parole.
Police are looking for Luke Rutledge, 24, of Fort Smith, who has a warrant out for his arrest on a charge of theft by receiving, police said. He is also wanted on a charge of absconding from parole and for two misdemeanor warrants.
According to police, he is wanted in connection with a scam in which more than $165,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from a New York jeweler. His alleged accomplice, Valerie Bynum, 24, was arrested by Barling Police on Aug. 27.
“If you know where Mr. Rutledge may be hiding, please contact the Barling Police Department at 479-452-1550 or your local law enforcement agency," said Sgt. Keith Lindley with the Barling Police. "Rutledge loves to frequent area casinos and has been known to stay at various addresses in Fort Smith and Van Buren.”
Police believe he has more than $50,000 cash on him and may have purchased a vehicle to flee Fort Smith.
Lindley urged members of the public not to try to capture Rutledge on their own. He said Rutledge has a violent charge and weapons charge in his past and that he may have attempted to purchase a firearm recently.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police immediately.