GROVE HILL, Ala. (WALA) - A small town police investigation cracked a major theft ring operating out of several counties and two states.
U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown announced the indictments of five people in connection with the operation Wednesday and said more arrests could follow.
"This is the one they tried to cut on the original gate," Wil Massey said.
Massey is the manager of Grove Hill Tractor Supply. He said the owner discovered the business had been hit by thieves on Easter Sunday. The burglars stole nearly $30,000 worth of equipment.
"They took three zero turn mowers and a utility trailer. They did several thousand dollars worth of damage. They broke in ransacked everything, took what they needed and left," Massey said. "I didn't think we'd ever see the equipment again."
His business and several others did get their equipment back.
"This case is just a good old fashion case of there being a theft ring in our area, and it was cracked wide open by good old law enforcement," U.S. Attorney Brown said.
Brown said five people were arrested in connection with a ring from Alabama and Mississippi.
"In one instance Powell and other members of the conspiracy had McCarty Junior and Senior remove the VIN number from a vehicle that had been stolen from the state of Alabama," Brown said.
The suspects, Corey Howard of Birmingham, Rickel Powell and Timothy Beasley of Camden, Alabama, and father and son Wayne McCarty Sr. and Jr. of Mississippi were all indicted on conspiracy charges.
Sheriff Ray Norris said would-be criminals need to think twice before coming to Clarke County.
"It was a boldness of these individuals to just go on the property in open air and get the stuff and drive off, and nobody see them. It was amazing to me that that could happen in a small town in our county and happened all over the state of Alabama," Norris said.
According to the indictment, the stolen equipment was taken to the McCarty's business in Mississippi.
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