Fire truck recovered

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 26, 2008

DECATUR TOWNSHIP — The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office has recovered a fire truck that was stolen from the Decatur Township Volunteer Fire Department and two men have been charged with the crime.

Decatur Fire Chief Gene Cox said a surveillance camera caught footage of a tow truck backing up and hauling off a water tank truck on June 5.

“It was outside because it need transmission work,” Cox said.

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Lawrence County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jeff Lawless got the video from the fire department and an investigation through several counties led the detectives to Barker’s Recycling in Beaver. The truck was recovered but it had been burned.

Jeremy Basham, 33, of Jackson, and Cortney Fisher, 40, of Waverly, have been charged with one count of fourth-degree felony grand theft auto and third-degree felony tampering with evidence.

“We originally thought it was the work of a terrorist organization,” Cox said. “It turns out it was just common thieves.”

Cox said he believes the thieves took the truck to sell the engine and other parts for resale and the rest for scrap.

He said he wasn’t sure how much money they could make off the theft since diesel is going for nearly $5 and “a wrecker gets 2-3 miles a gallon. It has to cost quite a bit to come here all the way from Waverly.”

Cox said the fire department got a new surveillance system after thieves kept stealing copper lines from a natural gas tank.

Cox is asking for people driving along State Route 93 to help keep an eye on the fire station.

“If you’re driving by and see someone on the property, get a license plate,” he said. “Call it in.”