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Tire heist leads to calls for tighter industry security

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer

 
Sheriff’s Office authorities have called on aid from the county’s Economic Development Association in requesting all area industries to tighten their security measures. The request comes just weeks after a tractor-trailer filled with more than $50,000 in tires was stolen from a trucking company, located within the Lincoln County Industrial Park, prior to being dumped off in Mecklenburg County.
According to information sent to the Times-News Wednesday morning from LEDA, Carpenter advised that the business organization notify all county industries of the recent theft, making sure they “positively ID anyone and anything associated with outbound freight.”
Industry officials must guarantee that individuals who are picking up loads have a valid driver’s license, Carpenter said.
On Dec. 28, a man who took more than 500 tires from a trailer based at Barnes Transportation Services on Finger Mill Road simply signed his name, “John Haynes” or “Hanes” before taking the trailer, authorities said.
He had allegedly stolen a tractor-trailer cab from Atlantic Coast Conference Logistics (ACCL) and hooked it up to the tire-filled trailer located at American Tire Distributors in Lincolnton.
The tires were no longer inside the trailer when Lincoln County deputies later located it abandoned in an area on Statesville Rd. in Charlotte.
An ACCL employee told local law enforcement officials that they only owned one truck and that it should not have been in use at the time of the theft because the driver was out of work undergoing a surgical procedure.
Carpenter believes that by tightening industries’ security measures, additional theft can be prevented at those locations.
“This will deter any future possibility of this type of incident occurring again,” he said, “or if it does (occur), we will have a positive type ID on any suspects.”
LEDA’s Existing Business Manager Kara Brown agreed with Carpenter.
“Requiring a valid driver’s license…will reduce the chances of this happening again,” she said.
Brown noted that she’s in charge of making all county industries aware “of anything, good or bad, which has an impact on them.”
“If an industry receives an email from me,” she said, “they understand the position I am speaking from and hopefully will give the email attention.  In most cases, our industries prefer to be the first point of contact, and they have the option of running it up the chain to corporate, if necessary.”
Carpenter pointed out that Sheriff’s detectives have been working closely with American Tire Distributors on the case. While authorities currently boast more than one lead, they revealed they’re not quite ready to make an arrest.

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