eBay sales lead police to suspects in Lufkin Industries equipment theft
Jonathan Freeman mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - One Crockett man has been arrested and another is wanted in connection to parts being stolen from Lufkin Industries, to the tune of $39,000, over a period of months.
The investigation began on January 12 after a private investigator hired by the company contacted police in regard to a large amount of usage of expendable parts was being recorded at the plant.
The loss has been suspected for about six months and noticed in the vending machines and the tool room. The company uses a vending machine process that requires employees use their identification cards to obtain the parts.
The investigation revealed that two men, Jonathan Chance Freeman, 29, and Duane A. Freeman, both of Crockett, had been acquiring many carbide end mills and inserts, despite not needing them for their individual jobs. Both men are friends and were hired together and carpool to work since being hired in April, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The affidavit states Reed first started acquiring the inserts in September, when he got 16. He acquired 145 in October, 181 in November and 478 in December. The total value of those was $14,831.84.
The affidavit states Freeman began in June with 10 and 10 more each in July and August. In September he got 50, 162 in October, 326 in November and 851 in December. The total value of those was $25,249.08.
The affidavit states a seller on eBay, listed from Crockett, was selling the end mills and inserts -- the same type reported stolen from Lufkin Industries.
The affidavit also states that an employee reported that several carbide inserts were stolen out of his tool cabinet on January 9.
A detective obtained a warrant for both men's arrests on January 13. Freeman was arrested on a charge of theft on Monday, but Reed has yet to be booked in the Angelina County Jail.