GALLIPOLIS — The reported theft of farm machinery which was later recovered has resulted in the arrest of a Pike County man, according to Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin.
Via a news release, Champlin stated his office received a report on Monday from Gallia Soil and Water Conservation District located on Jackson Pike regarding the alleged theft of a Sunflower Grain Drill valued at $45,000. The reported theft was believed to have taken place on the District’s property on July 24, the sheriff said.
“As the investigation began, a vehicle description of the suspect’s vehicle was obtained through the use of security camera footage from the area of the theft,” Champlin stated. “Deputies and Detectives from my office continued to work through the day and evening to pursue leads pertaining to this case. As this investigation continued, Deputies and Troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol were dispatched to a report of suspicious activity at another business location in the Jackson Pike area. Through the investigation of the activity, we were able to determine that another theft offense was occurring.
“As our Investigations Division continued to follow the leads developed through this investigation, it led us to Pike County, Ohio. As we worked in conjunction with the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, we were able to recover the stolen grain drill and one male, James J. Fields (age 46) of Beaver, Ohio, has been taken into custody and charged for the theft of the drill.”
Sheriff Champlin further stated, “I’m very thankful for the hard work and collaborative efforts of all of the law enforcement professionals who have touched this case. Our local soil and water conservation district works and invests hard in our agricultural community to aid our farmers in making Gallia County successful. The fact that our law enforcement community was able to provide a quick and successful resolution to this investigation is a huge win for our entire county. I would like to offer our most sincere thanks to Sheriff Tracy Evans, of Pike County, and his staff for their assistance in this case.”
Information provided by the office of Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin.