Deputies arrest alleged Katrina thief again

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Greenville man arrested in January for stealing property along the Mississippi-Louisiana Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina is back in jail for allegedly trying to sell stolen engine blocks over the Internet.

Butler County Sheriff's deputies arrested James Michael Reaves, 27, on Monday. He has been charged with two counts of receiving stolen property and is being held on $100,000 bond in the Butler County Jail.

Reaves and three other individuals were arrested on Jan. 20 and charged with property theft and receiving stolen property during Katrina relief efforts in Montgomery.

According to Chief Deputy Kenneth Hadley, Reaves listed a motor block and accessories on an Internet racing web site with an asking price of over $3,000.

The victim, a Hurricane Katrina evacuee currently living in Texas, discovered the listing.

&#8220The victim came all the way from Texas to look at the engine block,” said Hadley. &#8220They brought their serial numbers and we executed a search warrant and matched the serial numbers with the described item and made the arrest.”

Reaves, along with James Soloman Reaves, 51, Amanda Lynne Loftin, 21, and Cody Wilson Sorrells, 25, all of Greenville, were arrested in January for allegedly stealing $250,000 worth of property in New Orleans. They were hired as sub-contractors for FEMA, according to officials.

Items officials said were stolen included automobiles, automobile parts and trailers, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.

The cases against the four individuals are still pending, according to the Butler County District Attorney's office.

The initial investigation was conducted by the Butler County Sheriff's Office, the Crenshaw County Sheriff's Office and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.