Crockett Police Arrest Man For Equipment Robbery

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT –  Crockett Police Department (CPD) reported an arrest this week after a routine traffic stop led to information of a stolen excavator and trailer. 

On Sunday, December 18th, at about 5:20 a.m., 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 29-year-old Dustin Heath McNutt from Crockett.  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 that 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 (less than one gram – state jail felony) and unlawful carrying a weapon (Class A Misdemeanor).  

The Dodge pickup and equipment was taken to a secure location while the officers investigated further.

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 which he valued at just under $60,000. The property was released back to him.

McNutt was additionally charged with Theft of Property (3rd Degree Felony) and his vehicle was seized.  McNutt was magistrated on Monday, Dec. 19 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 at (936)544-2021.

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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