GREENVILLE, AL (WSFA) - The Butler County Sheriff's Office and the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) say they've made several arrests in the thefts of timber-harvesting equipment and parts across multiple counties.
Four men were taken into custody and charged for the crimes.
Robert Michael Williams, 42, of Clanton, was charged with theft in the first degree and receiving stolen property in the first degree.
Lafayette Alexander Hall, 30 of Alberta, was charged with receiving stolen property in the first degree; possessing a vehicle with obscured VIN (vehicle identification number); and receiving stolen property in the second degree.
Terry Tyrone Square, 34 of Alberta, was charged with receiving stolen property in the second degree.
Willie Thomas, 37 of Lowndes County, was charged with theft of property in the first degree.
Authorities say the man stole equipment from Butler, Clarke, Macon, Montgomery, Monroe, and Wilcox counties.
AFC Chief Craig Hill said he Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden and his staff started the case when they made an arrest in a stolen logging trailer case.
Harden's team quickly realized that one arrest would lead to the solving of cases in six counties. Investigators say the value of stolen or destroyed timber-harvesting components and equipment was valued in excess of $236,000.
Agencies assisting in the investigation were the Chilton Sheriff's Office, Clarke Sheriff's Office, Wilcox County Sheriff's Office, and the Centreville Police Department.
The Alabama Forestry Commission is committed to reducing the number of forestry-related crimes that occur each year across the state.
The AFC provides an Arson/Forest Crimes Hotline so that citizens can call and report theft of timber, vandalism or theft of harvesting equipment, and wildland arson. The toll-free number is 1-800-222-2927. Any information provided is confidential and the caller remains anonymous.