Local News

Thieves make off with railroad tracks

Posted August 6, 2008 11:47 a.m. EDT
Updated August 6, 2008 6:16 p.m. EDT

— Two men were arrested Tuesday evening after Cumberland County deputies discovered pieces of a CSX rail line had been stolen, authorities said.

Kenneth Ray Watts Jr., 23, of 1448 Middlesbrough Drive in Fayetteville, and Terry Walton Green, 38, of 182 Williams Lane in Roseboro, were each charged with misdemeanor larceny and second-degree trespassing.

The pair were arrested on the CSX railroad tracks near the intersection of Camden and Crystal Springs roads. Deputies found 40 steel plates weighing 10 to 20 pounds each, 25 railroad spikes and five 3-foot sections of track in a black SUV parked near the Camden Road overpass, authorities said.

"Some of those pieces you just couldn't hide. They were very large pieces," said Debbie Tanna, spokeswoman for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

With scrap iron selling for $8.50 per 100 pounds, investigators said they believe the men were looking to cash in.

"Unless they were planning to lay down tracks in the backyard of their house, chances are real good they were wanting to sell it for profit," Tanna said. "If I were operating a salvage yard and someone came in with railroad tracks, that would definitely be a red flag for me."

CSX officials said the rail line wasn't breached. The materials that had been taken were from an old, used track and not the main line, officials said.

"We see nothing to indicate that any damage was done to the original tracks," Tanna said.