Tuesday, June 21, 2011
One of my friends made the news the hard way last night. His grain cart was stolen and painted "broke, junk" and sold to a scrapper for drug money. Theft is big on the farm today.
My friend said "got a call wednesday afternoon at work that one of my carts was missing from the barn . stop by local scrap yard and saw it setting with a great new paint job. they paid the kid $500.00 for it. first thing thursday morning I was at their door with the cops . They said they had pictures of who sold it on file and give it to the cop we knew who had stole it before we got there. heres the problem we knew that they just returned a trailer to a friend on tuesday that the kid had stole last weeks and they still bought the cart from him after that. the cart looks a lot bluer than the pics show and also has a new shurloc roll tap last fall put on. He told them he was tied of working on old cart and get a new cart to replace this one. who is the bigger crook the kid or the scrap yard that is buying this stolen equipment"
You can view the video we saw on Channel 12 News last night here.
"The price for scrap metal has been soaring in recent months. So, too, has the amount of heroin flooding into the Tri-State. That means addicts who want to buy heroin are stealing anything they can get their hands on. Frequently, they sell those stolen goods to scrap yards to fuel their habits. Local 12's Rich Jaffe says that could mean criminal charges for a local recycling company.
Metal theft in rural local communities has gotten so bad that thieves are even stealing metal gates on farm fences, but investigators say at some point, the people buying that scrap metal have to use at least a little common sense.
Last week, investigators say Kyle Smallwood stole a grain cart out of a Highland County barn. According to the cart's owner, it's worth $5,000 to $8,000, but investigators say Smallwood sold it at this recycling company for scrap, even though employees knew it was much valuable. "They knew it wasn't scrap, and they knew they could sell it to a buyer for a much higher price than what they gave for it, and again, the same business, days later, bought a trailer days later that was full of scrap from the same suspect, and the scrap was taken off the trailer and crushed, and the trailer was set aside."
The sheriff says Smallwood's a heroin addict who's got a long criminal history in the area. The owner of the grain cart questions the way the scrap yard operates, saying theft and scrap sales have become a problem across the area. "The vehicles they pull up on the scales. They weigh it, and they send them back to dump, and then they come back, and they ask them who they are and what it is. Probably if they would just ask people a little more, some of them would get nervous and say this is the fourth time you been here tearing your copper out of your house."
"We're investigating, and we're going to see if there's any criminal culpability with the scrap yard because as an individual, if you or I buy something and we have reason to believe is stolen, we could be held liable under Ohio laws for what's called receiving stolen property."
Management at the Sardinia Recycling declined to comment on the situation when we spoke with them on the phone. Sheriff Ward says the case against Kyle Smallwood is expected to go to the Grand Jury this week, and more charges are expected."
The scrapyard is across the road from the edge of the home farm we were raised on. I took one load of scrap there one day on the way to visit mom and I "smelled skunk" and never went back. Now I wonder how much of her missing farm items went through there.
Sounds like Sardinia Recycling is as guilty as the crook and they are in trouble too.