Thieves caught stealing iron from railroad -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Thieves caught stealing iron from railroad

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

BERRIEN COUNTY, GA (WALB) –Berrien County officers caught thieves red-handed stealing iron from railroad tracks.

They found 800 pounds of spikes and plates in a truck.

Investigators say these days crooks are doing whatever they can to make a buck.

Three Ray City men were caught stealing iron spikes and plates scattered along the railroad on Highway 129 Wednesday around noon.

"When times get bad I reckon people do about anything," said Berrien County resident Gene Griffin.

Investigators say the men were planning to sell it to scrap yards. People who live near where it all went down are surprised because the crooks only get a little money for a lot of work.

"Right now, I understand it's pretty low it would take a whole lot of metal to make anything off of it," said Griffin.

Investigators found out the iron is going for seven cents per hundred pounds. They say the suspects were carrying the iron by bucketfuls to a green truck that was parked in the ditch close to Bertha Robertson Road.

"They told me that since it was old iron that they could just get it and nobody would care," said Berrien County Investigator Mike Register.

Clyde Sirmans, Joseph Sirmans and Julio Reyes are all charged with theft by taking and criminal trespass.

Georgia and Florida Railway operates that railroad. Officials there told investigators that no one in the area has permission to retrieve the iron and that the iron is collected, recycled and used to make new spikes and plates for the railroad.

"I'm afraid it won't be our last," said Register.

But he says they will continue to put thieves in jail and continue to educate salvage dealers about this issue to make it hard for crooks to sell metal and make any kind of money.

Officers found out about the crime from a tip called in to 9-1-1.

They encourage you to call your local law enforcement agency if you see suspicious activity around a railroad track.

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