NEW CAREY, Texas – A Texas man is accused of stealing more than $10,000 worth of bleachers from a park, authorities said.
James Thomley, 58, of New Carey, was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony theft of materials, the Bluebonnet News of Liberty reported.
An East Montgomery County Park maintenance manager discovered 20 bleacher planks missing from Bull Sallas Park in New Caney on May 26, KTRK-TV reported.
According to a statement from Montgomery County Precinct. 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden, authorities observed what appeared to be drag marks in the dirt where the planks were taken to a residence, the News reported. A day later, four additional bleacher planks were missing, according to the newspaper.
After interviews with nearby residents, detectives went to a scrap yard where the planks were discovered, KTRK reported. Thomley was identified as a suspect, according to the television station.
An arrest warrant was issued on Monday, according to the News. The next morning, deputies were at an unrelated traffic stop where the occupants of the vehicle were arrested on a felony narcotics charge, according to the newspaper.
Upon their arrest, the suspects were allowed to make a telephone call so a friend could take possession of the car. The friend who arrived at the scene was Thomley, and deputies also took him into custody, KTRK reported.
“Stealing from a county park is stealing from the youth and families of East Montgomery County,” Hayden said in a statement. “This theft of metal has cost the county $10,000 to purchase new bleachers, thus taking away from the funds the county could spend on other improvements and maintenance to the park.”