Two jailed in connection with construction equipment thefts in ETX and Louisiana

HARRISON CO. (KMHT) - The Harrison County Sheriff's Department has recovered nearly $250,000 in equipment stolen from construction and oil field sites in East Texas and two Parishes in Louisiana.

In the process of recovering the equipment, Harrison County Sheriff Tom McCool said investigators discovered a sophisticated, multi-state string of thefts.

Sheriff McCool says 47-year-old James Robert Arnold, and 35-year-old Michael Stephanie Arnold are both jailed and suspected in the thefts of oilfield and construction equipment from sites in Van Zandt County, Harrison County, and Louisiana Parishes in Desoto, and Lincoln.

McCool said Arnold is very well known to Harrison County Investigators, and have dealt with him several times.

McCool said, "When the dust settles on this deal, we have recovered the $90,000 backhoe, a $10,000 goose neck trailer, a $5,000 flatbed trailer, a $75,000 mini track hoe, three golf carts stolen from a business in Longview off of Highway 259 worth a total of $24,000, and it appears that we may have only scratched the surface in this case."

McCool said Arnold was able to pull off these alleged thefts because he has a lot of oilfield construction contacts, especially in Louisiana.

Mr. Arnold is being held in the Harrison County Jail on charges of Theft of Property and Possession of a Controlled Substance, his bond set at $65,000 total, he also has a bond hold from both DeSoto and Lincoln Parishes in Louisiana.

Ms. Arnold is being held on charges of Hindering Apprehension and Prosecution, as well as Tampering with Physical Evidence, her bond has been set at a total of $35,000.



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