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Case against couple charged for stealing from Toyota plant grows

By: Elizabeth Dorsett Email
By: Elizabeth Dorsett Email

Police charged 29-year-old Darren Baker and his girlfriend, 25-year-old Callie Ballard after they say he repeatedly went into the plant just to steal.

Georgetown Police have been busy cataloging surveillance video showing 29-year-old Darren Baker key-ing in and out of the secure Toyota Building dozens of times.

Each time, investigators say he went in specifically to steal hundreds of dollars worth of Catalytic converters.

"They were kept where they didn't effect day to day production, so it wasn't like they were coming up missing every day.," explained Lt. Robert Swanigan with the Georgetown Police Department.

Initial reports were that Baker stole between $20,000 and $40,000 in catalytic converters. Now, Toyota has had some time to do inventory and they say it could be as much as $154,000 worth.

The crimes started in September, and ended in mid-February.

"If it weren't for alert employees, absolutely could have kept going," Swanigan said.

Baker got a key through the company he'd once worked for, ironically called Loss Prevention Services. Police say that company sub-contracted for Toyota and they hadn't terminated Baker's access to the building after their job their was done.

It wasn't till mid-February that security realized he shouldn't be there and called police. Officers arrested him and his get-away driver, 25 year-old Callie Ballard, who'd dumped their duffel bags full of converters near an area business.

Police say this surveillance is a vital part of the mounting case against Baker.

"Every time he enters the plant unlawfully, he's committing burglary. Each individual act of him going in then coming out is a separate crime or offense," Swanigan said.

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