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Six arrested in pipe thefts

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY Ga. -- Accusations that they stole more than $500,000 worth of metal sewer pipes that weigh about a half-ton each resulted in six Albany area men being taken to jail, a Dougherty County Police Department official said.

"These iron pipes were specially made for a sewage plant and cost $58,000 a section," said police Capt. Jim Sexton. "They took them to a local recycler and got $10,650 for all the pipes."

The pipes, which belong to Alcon Construction, had been in a field overgrown by weeds and surrounded by chain-link fencing near a residential area in southwest Dougherty County, Sexton said. Officers responded to a call about the theft March 9 and arrived to find some of the thieves in action, he added.

When the group brought all metal they could carry to Schnitzer for recycling during February and March, they spotted a man with a flatbed truck, Sexton said. They then convinced the man to help them move the massive pipes, Sexton said.

"They convinced the guy with the truck they were a legitimate operation," Sexton said. "He won't be charged and Schnitzer did everything under the law that they are supposed to do. It won't be charged either."

The rest of the group surrendered over the weekend, Sexton said. Arrested and charged with five felony counts of theft by taking each, according to Sexton, were James Stanton, 43; his son, Adrian Stanton, 18, and his stepsons Bruce Johnson, 23, and Blake Johnson, 19; Ryan Tarrer, 27, and Joseph Adkins, 20.

Adkins and Blake Johnson are out of jail on $11,000 bail, a Dougherty County Jail spokeswoman said Wednesday. Tarrer remains in jail with no bail because of a probation violation and outstanding child support warrants, she added. The other arrestees were in jail Wednesday in lieu of $11,000 bail, the jail spokeswoman said.