Deputies say men caught with stolen metal

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Police say they were caught in the act, and now two Knox County men face theft charges.

As deputies explained, the 400 pound piece of metal the men were allegedly trying to steal was too heavy and got them stuck!

Knox County Sheriff's Deputy Claude Hudson says he was driving on Highway 225 Thursday and noticed something unusual stuck the side of the road.

"I saw two subjects with two four-wheelers pulling a trailer with a large piece of steel metal on the back of the four-wheeler. The piece of steel was bigger than most vehicles," Deputy Hudson said.

He stopped to talk to them.

"Asked them where they got the metal and they advised me they found it in the middle of the woods," Deputy Hudson said.

He did not believe them.

"We were familiar with both subjects before to prior thefts," said Deputy Hudson.

At the time, he had no proof it was stolen. He discovered a bench warrant for one of the men, Earl Gray, and took him to jail. He let the other man and metal go.

Friday morning, Mountain Ridge Drilling workers reported their metal equipment stolen.

"Kind of made the job easier for us where I got up with them yesterday," said Deputy Hudson.

"We move our tanks around with it. It's the only one we have, so we would have had to build another one if we hadn't found that one back," said John Wagers.

Sheriff's deputies found the metal at a scrap yard and returned it to the owners. Deputies say the suspects only got $56 for the $1,200 piece of equipment.

"It actually cost us five hours and we probably lost $1,200 messing with the whole deal," said Wagers.

Now both Gray and Johnny Ray Jordan are facing theft over $500 charges.

Deputies say Gray was released on bond before he was charged with theft, and they are looking for both him and Jordan.

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