Three Allen Parish residents are charged with stealing a large piece of forestry equipment and fuel from a local sawmill in separate incidents, according to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry.
Following the investigation of the theft of a 3,750 pound wood-chipper wheel from a sawmill in Allen Parish, agents allege it was stolen for scrap metal, according to a press release.
"An investigation revealed Ashley and Jeffery (Nolen) allegedly entered the sawmill property on July 21, 2021, and Jeffery used a forklift to load the wood-chipper wheel onto a truck. Ashley and Jeffery reportedly sold the wheel to a scrap-metal yard. The wood-chipper wheel is valued at $4,000," according to an LDAF press release.
On Aug. 3, LDAF agents arrested Ashley Nicole Nolen, 29, of 335 Cole Rd in Pitkin on one count of illegal possession of stolen things more than $1,000. On Aug. 9, agents arrested 29-year-old Jeffery Nolen of 184 Phillpot Rd. in Pitkin on a single count of theft more than $1,000 and one count of criminal trespassing. Bond was set at $25,000 each.
That investigation also turned up evidence of theft of fuel from the sawmill in separate and unrelated incidents, according to LDAF. Agents allege Joseph Nolen, 30, of 184 Phillpot Rd. in Pitkin took fuel from the sawmill property on July 30 and Aug. 3. Joseph Nolen was arrested Aug. 11 and charged with one count of simple burglary, two counts of theft and two counts of criminal trespassing. Bond for him was set at $32,000.
“It is imperative for both landowners and business owners to pay close attention to activity on their property and immediately report a suspected crime,” Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said. “Fortunately, our LDAF enforcement agents were notified quickly following this theft. They recovered and returned the wood chipper wheel to the business owner.” The LDAF enforcement agents were assisted by the Allen and Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Offices.