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Metal scavangers caught with stolen storm grates
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A Porterdale man was arrested and charged with theft by receiving after he was found with a truck full of storm grates taken from the Porterdale Mill Lofts and other items, according to a Porterdale Police Department report.

PPD officer Beau Alexander received a call of a burglary in progress around 2:30 p.m. Aug. 25.

A witness reportedly saw a white male with reddish-brown hair, blue short-sleeve shirt, and blue jeans stealing metal from behind the lofts and yelling to another person from behind the power plant.

When Alexander arrived at the theft site, the storm drain grates that also served as a sort of bridge had been taken, and it appeared as though a heavy object was dragged from the area.

He also spotted a set of fresh tire tracks in the rain-soaked ground that appeared to belong to a full-sized truck with worn off-road tires.

The officer ran through the wooded trail in hopes of catching the thieves, but saw nothing except foam insulation that appeared as though it was stripped from copper pipes.

Later, while on patrol, Alexander spotted a burgundy Ford F-150 with its emergency lights on in the northbound lane of Ga. Highway 81.

As he approached, he saw a white male with reddish-brown hair, dirty blue shirt, and dirty blue jeans in the roadway directing vehicles around the truck, which had worn off-road tires with fresh mud. The truck bed had a number of metal items, including a swing set, stove and storm grates.

The man, Edward Snider, 24, said the truck had run out of gas and his friend was bringing gas to him.

Alexander asked Snider where he had been collecting metal.

"Don't lie to me because I already know where you've been," the officer said, according to the report. "I just want to know if you're going to lie to me."

Snider said he'd been in the Porterdale area, including the Lofts.

"Why, is everything OK?" he asked.

"Well, I believe you're the person I've been looking for from behind the Lofts stealing metal, like these grates right here," Alexander said.

"Ah man, I didn't take those," said Snider. "My friend that's getting the gas did it, not me. I told him not to!"

Snider reportedly became very nervous, with shaking hands, a high pitched voice, pale face and big eyes. As he was put under arrest, his friend drove up with a can of gas and denied having any involvement in the theft or knowing anything about the incident. He told the officer he had been at home when Snider called him saying he was out of gas. Snider said his friend had been the one to take and put the grates in the truck.

The truck was impounded and the grates were returned. The owners of the other items were unidentified.

Close, but no 'fridge

With quick and coordinated work, Covington police were able to track down two theives who had just stolen a refridgerator valued at $250, but not before it was crushed for scrap metal, according to a CPD report.

A witness told police two men, one white, one black, had just loaded a refridgerator into a teal green Ford Explorer with a damaged front bumper around 8:10 a.m.

Officer J. English found the vehcile at the BP gas station on Flat Shoals Road and Washington Street and took Joshua Jackson and Kenneth Garrett into custody. In the vehicle was a check for $22 they recieved for the refridgerator from scrap metal dealer LB Recycling.

By the time the appliance was located, it had been crushed.

The pair were booked into the Newton County Detention Center and charged with theft of property from a building.