Rash of thefts in Iron Duff community

By Vicki Hyatt | Dec 31, 2012

A rash of thefts in the Iron Duff/Crabtree community has residents concerned.

John McCracken, who owns a mobile home park on Hyder Mountain Road, said while he hasn’t had anything stolen, those who rent from him have.
“I really feel sorry for these guys. They work like dogs to make a living for their family, particularly this one guy who does landscaping, carpenter work and is just a jack of all trades. He had a lot of tools and they stole everything he had to work with. He’s really in a hard place. It is just terrible what some idiots do to get money.”

McCracken said four homes in the area had items stolen. One guy lost a brand new wood splitter valued at $2,300 that was stored under his front porch. Another lost a table saw and several chain saws, along with portable air compressors and another had a leaf blower stolen off his front porch. Others told him about an incident several weeks ago when a lawn mower was stolen.

“There’s just lots of stealing going on right now,” he said.

Unless law enforcement authorities have serial numbers to track down, there doesn’t seem to be a lot that can be done, McCracken said.

“People ought to be aware they need to take down everything, serial numbers, model numbers and do anything else they can to secure everything they have,” he said. “If people are approached to buy bargain tools, they report it to the sheriff’s department.”

Chief Deputy Larry Bryson with the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office said authorities might have caught a break on the case thanks to tip from someone who overheard a conversation on the thefts.

“We have a couple of guys we’ve been looking at,” he said. ‘We’re just not there yet.”