Dirt too cheapPublished 12:00am Friday, May 23, 2014
Officials with the Covington County Sheriff’s Department say residents thinking of taking something that doesn’t belong to them should look to a Thursday arrest as an example of what could happen to them.
According to CCSO Investigator Wesley Snodgrass, 49-year-old Harmony resident Edwin Doyle Watson was arrested for theft of property and criminal trespassing after he stole approximately $1,000 worth of dirt and gravel from a county pit over the course of several months. Snodgrass said it is important that people realize that thefts of property that many may view as trivial are seen as serious by local authorities.
“Even if you are stealing dirt, you will go to jail,” he said.
Snodgrass said officials with the Covington County Engineer’s Office. First contacted the sheriff’s office was first contacted about the missing dirt and gravel in March.
“Photographic evidence was later obtained and the sheriff’s office began work on the case,” Snodgrass said. “We made contact with Mr. Watson’s wife at their home after numerous attempts to contact him and told her to notify him that if he didn’t come in and talk with us, there could be criminal charges.”
Snodgrass said Watson never showed, but did attempt to make a payment with the District Attorney’s Office Worthless Check Unit, at which point he was arrested by DA Investigator Lamar Stokes.
“(Watson) had the opportunity to discuss the matter prior to it being deemed a criminal matter,” Snodgrass said.
Instead, Watson was arrested on charges of felony theft of property II and misdemeanor criminal trespassing III and booked into the Covington County Jail on a $10,500 bond.