Crockett man accused of stealing trailer, excavator from Athens area

Dustin Heath McNutt
Dustin Heath McNutt((Source: Crockett Police Department))
Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 3:51 PM CST

CROCKETT, Texas (KTRE) - A Crockett man was arrested Sunday, accused of stealing an excavator and trailer from the Athens area.

According to Crockett police, at about 5:20 a.m. Sunday, an officer with the Crockett Police Department observed a suspicious vehicle on US Highway 287 North. The vehicle was a Dodge pickup towing a trailer loaded with a hydraulic excavator. The officer witnessed the vehicle commit traffic violations and pulled the vehicle over. The officer was soon joined by deputies with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.

During the traffic stop, the driver was identified as Dustin Heath McNutt (age 29 from Crockett). Police said McNutt gave the officers conflicting information about the excavator and trailer and gave consent to search the vehicle. During the search, officers located methamphetamine and a handgun. In addition, they located several bundles of heavy equipment and tractor keys, two walkie-talkies, and five different license plates. The excavator and trailer were checked in state and national databases, and they were not reported stolen at the time. The officers also attempted to make contact with the trailer’s registered owner, but were unsuccessful.

McNutt was initially placed under arrest and released to the Houston County Jail for possession of a controlled substance. and unlawful carrying of a weapon. The Dodge pickup and equipment was taken to a secure location while the officers investigated further.

Stolen excavator
Stolen excavator((Source: Crockett Police Department))

Police said later that morning, officers were able to speak with the owner of the trailer and excavator, who reported that one of his employees had just discovered the equipment had been stolen overnight from a job site in the 2700 block of State Highway 31 West in Athens. The owner came to Crockett and identified his equipment. The property, which he valued at just under $60,000, was released back to him.

McNutt was additionally charged with theft of property and his vehicle was seized. McNutt was magistrated on Monday and released on a $33,000 bond.

This case remains under investigation. Anyone with information about this incident or other thefts is asked to contact the Crockett Police Department.