Two charged in theft of more than $30,000 in equipment from Como gas plant

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK, News-Telegram Managing Editor

July 28, 2008 - Two arrests were made in Hopkins County over the weekend in connection with the theft of more than $30,000 worth of industrial machine equipment last week from a natural gas plant south of Como.

Two men, indenfied as Jeffrey Lynn Hicks, 41, and Lanarvall Dean Pryor, 45, were taken into custody after leaving a Hopkins County scrap metal business Saturday.

Deputies Jason Poteet and G.K. McLarry stopped the 2002 Ford F150 pickup the Dallas men were in about 9:45 a.m. Saturday on FM 1870.

Hopkins County Sheriff's Investigator Lewis Tatums had called to the deputies for assistance after the two men reportedly left in the Ford pickup after stopping at Reed Scrap Metal, located on FM 1870.

Poteet intitiated a traffic stop on the FM road, then identified both men. They were read the Miranda warning and taken to the Hopkins County Sheriff's Office in Sulphur Springs, where Tatum interviewed both men.

According to reports, Hicks and Pryor were charged with the building break-in after "admitting to the burglary of the Como gas plant."

Both men were arraigned on burglary of a building charges Saturday morning. Bond was set at $5,000, but they were later released on personal recognizance bonds.

The theft of an estimated $31,750 in equpment reportedly took place between 8 p.m. last Wednesday, July 23, and the early morning hours of Thursday, July 24, at Regency Gas Services.

The plant is located on County Road 2948 about three miles southwest of Como.

The offense report filed at the Hopkins County Sheriff's Office listed 41 different items taken in the break-in, along with $2,000 in "miscellaneous small parts for engines."

The equipment stolen included 15 "Total Flow" boxes, valued at $350 each, and 20 Dresser bearings for engines, which were worth at combined $15,000.

The thieves also made off with four Superior engine heads, each costing an estimated $2,000. Two water pumps for engines, valued at $600 apiece, were also taken, according to reports.

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