Selling scrap iron may not be as lucrative as copper, but Clarence Windom of Shongaloo thought stealing a large amount would surely bring him a little cash.
Instead, it netted the 52-year-old three counts of felony theft through the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Gary Sexton said a trucking firm in the Sarepta area contacted deputy Jesse Lee, along with reserve deputy Glynn Coile when a pick-up truck on his property contained stolen scrap iron.
"About that time, the owner of the pick-up truck arrived and admitted taking the iron from the local business," Sexton said.
Capt. Dustin Reynolds said the owner had noticed quite a bit of scrap iron missing.
"Windom had been there three times, and each time, he'd probably clipped them for about $5,000 worth of parts," Reynolds said. "Parts for 18-wheelers, aluminum systems and stuff like that. He was taking it to scrap yards and selling it for $100 per thousand pounds."
Reynolds said the local business, when working on trucks, could no longer use the stockpile and would have to purchase the replacement parts.
"We're having a major problem with that," Reynolds said. "We started hitting scrap yards in Arkansas and in Louisiana also where he'd been taking numerous items."
Reynolds said unfortunately everything their office recovered had been melted or crushed.
Reynolds said cost of copper and other types of metal is on the rise.
"Any time people see something or somebody they think shouldn't be somewhere, we ask them to please call us," Reynolds said. "The mentality is, if it's an old abandoned house or something, or if something's just sitting out in a field, they think it's okay to take it. But the damage they do for $100 worth of wire, is a lot more to the owner who has to replace it."