Crime Briefs Metal sca­v­angers caught with stolen storm grates

The Covington News - - Crime & Courts - By Michelle Kim

A Por­terdale man was ar­rested and charged with theft by re­ceiv­ing af­ter he was found with a truck full of storm grates taken from the Por­terdale Mill Lofts and other items, ac­cord­ing to a Por­terdale Po­lice Depart­ment re­port.

PPD of­fi­cer Beau Alexan­der re­ceived a call of a bur­glary in progress around 2:30 p.m. Aug. 25.

A wit­ness re­port­edly saw a white male with red­dish-brown hair, blue short-sleeve shirt, and blue jeans steal­ing metal from be­hind the lofts and yelling to an­other per­son from be­hind the power plant.

When Alexan­der ar­rived at the theft site, the storm drain grates that also served as a sort of bridge had been taken, and it ap­peared as though a heavy ob­ject was dragged from the area.

He also spot­ted a set of fresh tire tracks in the rain-soaked ground that ap­peared to be­long to a full-sized truck with worn off-road tires.

The of­fi­cer ran through the wooded trail in hopes of catch­ing the thieves, but saw noth­ing ex­cept foam in­su­la­tion that ap­peared as though it was stripped from cop­per pipes.

Later, while on pa­trol, Alexan­der spot­ted a bur­gundy Ford F-150 with its emer­gency lights on in the north­bound lane of Ga. High­way 81.

As he ap­proached, he saw a white male with red­dish-brown hair, dirty blue shirt, and dirty blue jeans in the road­way di­rect­ing ve­hi­cles around the truck, which had worn off-road tires with fresh mud. The truck bed had a num­ber of metal items, in­clud­ing a swing set, stove and storm grates.

The man, Ed­ward Snider, 24, said the truck had run out of gas and his friend was bring­ing gas to him.

Alexan­der asked Snider where he had been col­lect­ing metal.

“Don’t lie to me be­cause I al­ready know where you’ve been,” the of­fi­cer said, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. “I just want to know if you’re go­ing to lie to me.”

Snider said he’d been in the Por­terdale area, in­clud­ing the Lofts.

“Why, is ev­ery­thing OK?” he asked.

“Well, I be­lieve you’re the per­son I’ve been looking for from be­hind the Lofts steal­ing metal, like th­ese grates right here,” Alexan­der said.

“Ah man, I didn’t take those,” said Snider. “My friend that’s get­ting the gas did it, not me. I told him not to!”

Snider re­port­edly be­came very ner­vous, with shak­ing hands, a high pitched voice, pale face and big eyes. As he was put un­der ar­rest, his friend drove up with a can of gas and de­nied hav­ing any in­volve­ment in the theft or know­ing any­thing about the in­ci­dent. He told the of­fi­cer he had been at home when Snider called him say­ing he was out of gas. Snider said his friend had been the one to take and put the grates in the truck.

The truck was im­pounded and the grates were re­turned. The own­ers of the other items were uniden­ti­fied.

Close, but no ‘fridge

With quick and co­or­di­nated work, Cov­ing­ton po­lice were able to track down two theives who had just stolen a re­fridger­a­tor val­ued at $250, but not be­fore it was crushed for scrap metal, ac­cord­ing to a CPD re­port.

A wit­ness told po­lice two men, one white, one black, had just loaded a re­fridger­a­tor into a teal green Ford Ex­plorer with a dam­aged front bumper around 8:10 a.m.

Of­fi­cer J. English found the ve­hcile at the BP gas sta­tion on Flat Shoals Road and Wash­ing­ton Street and took Joshua Jack­son and Kenneth Gar­rett into cus­tody. In the ve­hi­cle was a check for $22 they re­cieved for the re­fridger­a­tor from scrap metal dealer LB Re­cy­cling.

By the time the ap­pli­ance was lo­cated, it had been crushed.

The pair were booked into the New­ton County De­ten­tion Cen­ter and charged with theft of prop­erty from a build­ing.

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