Truck theft ring in Franklin Co. used to steal trees -

Truck theft ring in Franklin Co. used to steal trees

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Kevin Crider Kevin Crider
Jerry Courtway Jerry Courtway
Brian Jones Brian Jones
Michael Smith Michael Smith
Roger Sohn Roger Sohn
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. ( - Police in Franklin County told News 4 they broke up a truck theft ring where thieves used stolen trucks to heist trees.

Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said four men have been arrested and charged for their participation in the ring that resulted in the theft of 24 trucks.

“We believe they were using them to transport narcotics and they also parted them out, taking orders for parts. I think the primary function was to haul walnut logs they stole off private property,” Toelke said.

Timber from Walnut trees is highly treasured in furniture and home building, allowing tree thieves to make big money. The plants grow all over Missouri.

“Apparently they were taking them to different saw mills in the area and around the country. I know one of the people arrested had a check from a saw mill for $2,000 for one log, so it's pretty profitable,” Toelke said.

It's unclear how much money the alleged tree thieves made.
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