Local News

Construction Equipment Bandits Make Their Way To Johnston County

Posted June 30, 2000

— Backhoes and other heavy equipment are vanishing from construction sites all over the Carolinas. Most of the equipment is turning up in Johnston County.

Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell says he has been busy in the past couple of months with reports of stolen construction equipment.

"We have recovered a backhoe, a John Deere tractor, a new Chevrolet truck," says Johnston County sheriff Steve Bizzell.

Bizzell says he even saw a Ditch Witch on the back of a trailer going down the road at 3 a.m.

"You know nobody is going to transport a backhoe at 3 o'clock on a Sunday morning," Bizzell says. "Myself and another deputy stopped a vehicle. The backhoe had been stolen out of South Carolina and on its way to Kinston."

Heavy construction equipment is worth big money on the black market.

"A lot of it is drug-related," Bizzell says. "Folks will go out and steal an air compressor or steal whatever to get some quick cash to buy some drugs."

Bizzell says he has several suspects in Johnston County. He hopes to make several arrests soon.


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