Police nab lumber thieves

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 14, 2003

Theft of lumber from a residence construction site on Point A Road resulted in four arrests in the Opp area, according to River Falls Police Chief Jeff Holland.

The total estimated amount of the lumber stolen came to $2,000, but law enforcement officials recovered nearly half the amount, priced at about $1,000, Holland added.

"The case is still under investigation," he said. "The stolen lumber led to cases of theft in the county."

The Sheriff's Department, Opp Police Department, and the 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force assisted in the arrests, said Holland.

"Drug-related charges stemmed from it and were added to the theft of property charges," he said.

Methamphetamine and marijuana were among the drugs that were found, according to Holland.

Three incidents were reported involving the four individuals, and the first report was filed on October 16, added Holland.

"Deputy (Chris) Byrd noticed a vehicle with new lumber corresponding to a theft-of-property report," he said. "He stopped the vehicle, and the two subjects admitted where they got the lumber. The evidence belonging to the suspects matched the description of the stolen property, and they were charged with the various offenses."

The names of the individuals who allegedly stole the lumber were not released, because Holland said more arrests are expected to be in connection with the case.

"I'm expecting at least three more arrests," he said. "The arrests will lead to the possibility of solving more crimes involving theft and drugs."

All but one of the persons arrested were released from Covington County Jail on bonds, according to Holland. The only person remaining in jail is the leader, and that suspect is also being charged with violation of probation, added Holland.

"The main leader (of the group of alleged criminals) is in jail," said Holland.