A Kentucky man is charged with three felony counts of receiving stolen property in connection with hijacking shipments of scrap metal from a Virginia company, according to the Kentucky State Patrol.
James Scott Hale, 30, of Philpot, Ky., was charged Tuesday with three counts of receiving stolen property over $10,000, a class C felony.
According to Kentucky State Police Trooper Corey King, the investigation began after a local Owensboro trucking company reported a possible theft.
King said the trucking company reported they had received a call from a company in Virginia inquiring about three loads of freight that the trucking company had picked up. The owner of the Owensboro trucking company was unaware and said they were not contracted to pick up any freight from the Virginia business, which called the Owensboro company to receive payment for the loads.
King said the investigation revealed that Hale picked up three loads of aluminum product from the Virginia company in late December 2013 and scrapped all three loads valued at around $150,000 at an Owensboro recycling center.
“In lieu of dropping them off where they were supposed to go, he scrapped them in Owensboro,” King said in a phone interview with Land Line. “In all the years of dealing with scrapping and those that have done scrap thefts, this is the most elaborate and unusual I’ve run across.”
King said that although Hale had a commercial driver’s license and was in the process of buying a tractor from another trucking company, he had never worked for the company in question.
“We had a previous complaint from another metal broker saying he owed them money and was supposed to pick up a load in the western states and deliver it to Indiana, which never made it. He satisfied that company by sending them a large sum of money and that got us aware and gave us an idea of where to look.”
King said state police are working with law enforcement in Virginia to determine how Hale was able to pose as the Owensboro trucking company and pick up the loads. He said it’s possible there may be “more companies that are missing money that may come forth.”
Hale is being held in the Daviess County Detention Center in Owensboro.
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