A Madison county man, who police say is at the center of a multi-county theft ring is now behind bars; and police say the investigation – involving: Grimes, Madison, Waller and possibly Robertson County -- is just beginning.
Big trucks, heavy equipment and machinery are necessary tools used to haul inventory that's in high demand; and in Don Bodenhamer's case -- its big pipes.
"Hey is that load ready to go?” asked Don Bodenhamer, owner of Centex Supplies in Madisonville.
Bodenhamer has made a name for himself in Madison County over the last three decades; and so has his company that’s conveniently nestled on Highway 75.
"Its easy access, a very visible spot and easy access to us for all the points we deliver to,” said Vodenhamer.
But on January 10th, a crook made his way inside a set of gates that were locked before closing down for the day.
"It was a one-ton diesel and discovered it was gone and so then we discovered a gate open with the lock missing and that's when we called police," said Bodenhamer.
After several weeks of investigation and numerous reports of thefts across three different counties -- authorities received their big break Friday -- at Centex Supplies in Madison County.
“Leads began to develop that pointed towards Hempstead surrounding a series of individuals,” said Madison County Sheriff Travis Neeley. ”These leads were followed up which culminated Friday night in the seizure and arrest of Dennis Curry and about $100,000 in stolen property.”
Authorities say Dennis Curry, a North Zulch resident; was arrested in the Waller County town of Hempstead; he was allegedly driving Bodenhamer's Dodge pick-up truck. Curry's arrest subsequently led police to a vacant property in Hempstead police say was being used as a chop shop.
“It was an isolated area, they were disassembling it and then take the parts and sell it as scrap," said Neeley.
It's believed one of the three stolen trailers could possibly be connected to a theft reported in Robertson County.
“Apparently the ATV’s are a hot item to steal because we’ve had seven stolen in a twelve month period,” explained Neeley. “We haven’t recovered a single one.” Travis Neeley says Seven ATV's have been stolen out of Madison County in the last 12 months.
More suspects are being questioned -- and we are told more arrests are anticipated as the investigation continues.