Authorities arrest 5 in theft ring in Booneville

By The Associated Press

BOONEVILLE — Five people have been indicted in the theft of equipment from a North American Pipe warehouse in Booneville.

The equipment was taken to a local scarp yard and sold, said Booneville Police Chief Michael Ramey.

Ramey told the Daily Corinthian that the arrests came after an investigation that spanned five to six months. Ramey said the owners of the local scrap yard when the equipment was taken cooperated with investigators.

“It appears these individuals had been going to a warehouse in Booneville where North American Pipe was storing some equipment from another facility out of state. Over several occasions equipment was stolen and taken to a scrap yard in the county and sold.

“Some of the equipment has been recovered while some had already been done away with.

“The case had a break when some of this stolen property was actually recovered at the scrap yard and then investigators started going back through tickets from the scrap yard,” Ramey said.

Arrested were: Michael Daniel McNees, 27; Jackie Zaccheus Field, 29; Jason Lee Smith, 34; David Michael Gauthier, 30; and John Vincent Shanks, 50. All are from Booneville.

Field was indicted with one count of grand larceny. Ramey said each of the other four was indicted on six counts.

Several thousand pounds of metal was stolen and processed. One of the items stolen weighed around 5,000 pounds. Ramey said the scrap yard paid more than $30,000 for the items.

None of the suspects were employees of North American Pipe, Ramey said.