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Car strippers sentenced
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One man was given four months, while his partner in crime was granted probation, after they stripped a four-wheel drive that was broken down on the side of the mountain.
John H. Simons was ordered to serve 120 days of a four-year sentence and make restitution for burglary of a vehicle and grand theft, while William Paine was granted an 11-month, 29-day probationary sentence on the charge of theft. He was fined $750 plus costs for a separate simple possession of drugs case.
A third person in the heist, Kelly Ryan Desmarais, is to appear before Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley on May 10.
The crime involved a 1978 Ford Bronco that was left on a trail in the Mt. Zion community in the area of Ben Burton Road after it broke down. The owner of the vehicle reported seeing the suspects going up the mountain as he was traveling down the mountain to get tools to make the necessary repairs.
When he returned to make those repairs, he discovered his vehicle had been burglarized and stripped. Missing were items including four swamper tires, chrome wheels, a fuel cell, tools and a broken drive shaft.
Given the description, sheriff’s investigator Travis Thaxton was able to link the suspects with the crime. The tires and fuel cell, together worth around $1,900, were found in Paine’s possession. The lawman discovered that prior to Paine having the items, they were in Simons’ possession.