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NCSO looking into large diesel fuel thefts

COVINGTON - The Newton County Sheriff's Office is questioning two men in connection with several large thefts of diesel fuel at construction sites around the county, according to Lt. Bill Watterson.

An NCSO incident report completed by Deputy Brad Verzinskie stated Jerrell Grable Breedlove, 35, of 1588 Beaudaux Lane, Conyers, and Alvin Keith Gantt, 40, of 1690 Flat Shoals Road, Atlanta, were arrested and charged with loitering and prowling after the deputy became suspicious upon seeing a truck pulling a trailer drive into a subdivision off Delaney Parkway and park with its lights off for several minutes.

The deputy followed the vehicle, stopping the driver on Access Road and telling him why he had stopped him.

The driver (Breedlove) told the deputy he had pulled over to check his truck. After checking the man's driver's license and registration, it was revealed the vehicle's registration had expired, there was no insurance on the vehicle, his driver's license had expired and he had an outstanding warrant.

Breedlove was placed under arrest and the deputy asked permission to search the trailer, the incident report stated. When permission was granted, a deputy who had arrived as backup opened the trailer door and discovered a second man inside who identified himself as Alvin Gantt.

It was discovered that Gantt had an outstanding warrant, as well.

But the contents of the trailer were what really grabbed the deputies' attention.

"They had 200 gallons of diesel fuel in that trailer and couldn't explain where it came from," Watterson said. "They had a big tank set up with this trailer with a gasoline-powered pump on it. We've had a large amount of fuel taken from construction sites this past week."

According to the incident report, a large hose was attached to the pump and connected to the tank and the "middle flooring of the trailer was made to be removed so access could be made to the ground."

Watterson said the setup was such that it would be possible for someone to quickly siphon gas from construction equipment.

At least two such incidents were reported to the NCSO on June 9 - 400 gallons of fuel estimated to be worth $1,600 was taken from a location at Fairview and Access roads and 480 gallons of fuel valued at $1,920 was reported missing from a Dearing Road construction site.

Watterson asked that anyone with information or anyone else who has had a large amount of fuel go missing from June 9 through Friday contact Sgt. Sonny Goodson at 678-625-1445 or Investigator Jason Griffin at 678-625-1463.

Also, tips can be given to the NCSO anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through its Web site at www.newtonsheriffga.org and clicking on "anonymous tip line." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.

At this time, Breedlove is facing additional charges of no proof of insurance, suspended, revoked or cancelled registration, improper lane usage and driving while license is suspended or revoked. Gantt was also charged with obstruction or hindering law enforcement officers.