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CPD: Thief tries to sell stolen scrap metal back

COVINGTON - Covington Police Department officers have arrested a man they say was stealing scrap metal from Oconee Metal and then trying to sell it back to them.

McArthur Smith, 56, of 2198 Lee St., was arrested and charged with theft by taking in connection with the incident that allegedly began Sunday when employees of Oconee Metal say they observed Smith loading scrap metal belonging to the recycling center into his truck.

According to a CPD incident report, the employees said they yelled for Smith to stop and gave chase on foot, but he was able to flee the scene.

On Monday, Smith allegedly contacted a friend and asked him to drive the truck loaded with scrap metal to the recycling center for him, saying he couldn't do it "because he owed someone some money and didn't have it."

The friend agreed, but when he drove the truck into the recycling center, the employees recognized it and notified police. The friend told officers he knew nothing of the theft and told them Smith was waiting for him to bring him the proceeds of the metal sale at the corner of Washington Street and Turner Lake Road.

Officers went to that location and arrested Smith.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.