Police arrest three in $227,000 theft from Komatsu

CONYERS - Three people are under arrest in connection with a theft of $227,000 worth of parts from Komatsu Forklift USA on Lochridge Boulevard, according to the Covington Police Department.

Arrested and charged with theft by taking and theft by receiving are Johnny Grier, 30, and his girlfriend, Ivette Marquez, 28, both of 9156 Bent Pine Court. Roger Williams, 27, of 522 Hughes Circle, Madison, also was charged with theft by taking.

Sgt. Arvo Bowen said Grier is a former employee of Komatsu, who left the company about the time the thefts apparently commenced, while Williams was still employed there when the thefts were discovered.

Bowen said the thefts occurred from September 2006 until January when employees went to the warehouse shelves to get wiring harnesses that are used in the manufacture of the company's forklifts.

"They noticed the supply was extremely low," Bowen said. "They began checking inventory and discovered a whole pallet of wiring harnesses was missing."

Bowen said after Komatsu notified the CPD that the parts were missing from its inventory, CPD Detective Daniel Seals observed empty boxes with Komatsu labeling on them outside Grier's residence. A search warrant was then obtained.

Bowen said apparently Marquez transported dismantled wire harnesses in bits and pieces, taking "little bunches at a time" to Oconee Metal Recovery on Washington Street. According to that company's records, she made 24 trips from September to January, collecting approximately $3,000 for the metal.

"Oconee Metal has totally cooperated with our investigation, and we were able to return some leftover parts to Komatsu," Bowen said.

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