Sheriff’s Department reaps stolen equipment bonanza



Lowboy trailer and fifth-wheel camper: two of nearly a dozen pieces of heavy equipment stolen in Blount County and out of state, recovered by Sheriff’s Department investigators in the Cleveland area.

Lowboy trailer and fifth-wheel camper: two of nearly a dozen pieces of heavy equipment stolen in Blount County and out of state, recovered by Sheriff’s Department investigators in the Cleveland area.

Sheriff Loyd Arrington notified the newspaper Monday that the Sheriff’s Department has recovered nearly a dozen pieces of heavy equipment worth an estimated $378,700 stolen in Alabama, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Three local residents are in custody charged with the thefts.

The theft of a bulldozer from the bridge construction site on Ala 75 north of Oneonta set the process in motion. A Crimestoppers tip was the catalyst, Arrington said, and diligent work by investigators led to the conclusion.

Thus far recovered are a bulldozer, tri-axle dump truck, van trailer, lowboy trailer, two excavators, three box trailers, and a fifth-wheel camper trailer. Much of the equipment was discovered at various locations in the Cleveland area.

According to Arrington, the investigation began late Friday afternoon with the recovery of the bulldozer. As investigators followed up, they discovered more and more heavy equipment, which led to arrests Monday.

“At this time, we have leads on additional equipment and are hopeful more recoveries can be made this week,” Arrington said.