Within 24 hours after a shipment of farm chemicals were received by an area business, thieves had helped themselves to the shipment.
Within 24 hours of the theft, investigators with the Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office had three suspects in custody.
Sheriff Mike Tubbs said the shipment was received on Monday. At 8 a.m. Tuesday, employees of the business notified the MPSO that much of the shipment was missing.
Investigators quickly identified Michael Hill, 1022 Shelton Rd., as a suspect in the thefts. A large quantity of chemicals allegedly taken in the thefts were recovered at Hill’s home.
Investigators also were able to determine that James Williams, 713 East Carter St., was allegedly involved in helping Hill in taking the chemicals.
They also learned that Carlos Bailey, 12230 Green Ln., had allegedly purchased some of the chemicals.
The retail value of the chemicals taken in the theft range from $170 to $240 per gallon. Investigators learned that Bailey and others who may have allegedly purchased the purloined chemicals paid only $20 per gallon.
Hill was charged with theft of goods valued at more than $1,500, theft of goods valued at over $1,000 and two counts of conspiracy to commit theft. Investigators also learned Hill had two outstanding traffic warrants, for speeding and no driver’s license and failure to appear warrants on both of those charges.
Williams and Bailey were each charged with illegal possession of stolen things and criminal conspiracy.
Tubbs credited investigators with quick work in bringing at least partial closure to the case.
“Lt. Scott Culp and investigator Patrick Morrison got right on this and had it closed before noon,” Tubbs said. “As they kept talking to the suspects, they were able to identify a farmer (Bailey) who had purchased some of the items taken.”
The investigation is continuing to determine if other farmers may have purchased chemicals that were not recovered from Hill’s home.