Accused of stealing 4 to 6 million dollars’ worth of scrap metal, a father-and-son duo are now facing charges.
According to WSAV 3, the investigation began back in February when authorities acted on a tip that an individual was stealing metal from OmniSource, a scrap metal processing center in the county of Swainsboro and transferring it through another county (Effingham) — avoiding Interstate 16. With this knowledge, Effingham authorities stopped a vehicle — for a bent license tag — that fit the description.
What raised suspicion?
“You don’t use a tandem axel dump bed trailer to haul a little bit of scrap from your yard. It’d cost you more in gas than you’d receive in the metal,” said Effingham County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Fondren within the article.
After asking the driver, Charles King Jr., 39, permission to search the vehicle, authorities found 55,000 pounds of stainless steel in his trailer.
“It’s hard to have that amount, that much metal in your yard, just sitting in your yard… However you load 55,000 lbs of stainless steal [sic],” said Effingham County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Petrea added. (Ed. note: a hilariously fitting, even if unintended, pun in that original quote.)
Deputies were able to determine the scrap metal and trailer had been taken from OmniSource – where King’s father, Charles King, Sr., is manager.
A day or two after they stopped King’s truck, Effingham County Sheriff’s Office obtained information that Jarrell’s Top Dollar Recycling was receiving a significant amount of the stolen metal – leading to an examination of the recycling operation’s records of transactions.
For advice on how your company can combat material theft, visit the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) website. To report a scrap theft or browse theft reports, visit ISRI’s online alert system, ScrapTheftAlert.com.