Aug 25, 2010 10:46 AM

Heavy Equipment Theft Arrest

A multi-agency investigation including the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), and Louisiana State Police Detectives which began on August 19th 2010 has resulted in the arrest of James Hurst, (W/M age 52) of New York, on charges of Felony Theft and Possession of Stolen Property.

Vermilion Parish Sheriff Mike Couvillon says, the victim, who resides in Vermilion Parish, purchased a 2008 Caterpillar skid steer model 279C for $30,000.00 from Hurst after seeing it listed on E-Bay.

Sheriff Couvillon further stated that after purchasing the equipment, the victim then went to Caterpillar in an attempt to get an extended warranty, and upon entering the identification number into the Caterpillar database, it was determined that the equipment had been stolen from Delaware.

Security personnel from Caterpillar Incorporated then contacted the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) with regards to this matter, and the victim came to the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office for assistance.

Sheriff Couvillon says that Sheriff's Detectives began gathering information on Hurst, his operation, and his whereabouts and later coordinated their efforts with State Police in Baton Rouge.

Upon further investigation, State Police detectives located Hurst at a residence in Ponchatoula where he was allegedly storing additional equipment.  After obtaining a search warrant for the property, investigators discovered a Caterpillar Backhoe 416 and a John Deere 60 in. power brush.  The total estimated value of the recovered equipment is $90,000.00.

Hurst was placed under arrest and booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.
The investigation is ongoing with more stolen property expected to be recovered.  Anyone with further information or suspecting to have purchased any stolen property should contact the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office at (337)898-4403 or Louisiana State Police Detectives at (225) 925-7282.


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