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BY PHILLIP WILLIAMS/Correspondent
GILMER–Detectives from the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office have recovered approximately $30,000 worth of machinery and other items which were stolen recently from multiple victims, Chief Deputy David Hazel said last week.
Detectives opened a follow-up investigation Aug. 26 after a concerned citizen called “regarding some items that were for sale on an online sale site,” Hazel announced Aug. 1. The male caller “became suspicious of the situation after talking to the seller” and notified authorities, the officer said.
Officers subsequently recovered a John Deere tractor, a welding rig with trailer, two recreational vehicles, and some “miscelleanous items stolen from a barn,” the chief deputy said. Detectives are working on locating other items still missing from the victims’ sites, Hazel added.
The sheriff’s office has identified suspects in the case, and the matter will be presented to Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd’s office for consideration, Hazel said. The goods were stolen in the two weeks prior to Aug. 1, he added.
Most of the stolen items had been at sites with absentee owners and were “susceptible to someone walking off with them,” the chief deputy said. One owner lives far away “and only comes in on occasion to keep the land up,” he noted.
Hazel urged absentee landowners “if at all possible” not to leave such objects as the stolen goods unattended, as occurred in this case.
“Several of the items came from the northern part of the county” and “had been distributed as far as Smith County,” he said.