Ponchatoula, LA - A multiagency investigation including the Vermillion Parish Sheriff’s Office, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), and Louisiana State Police Detectives has resulted in the arrest of James Hurst, (W/M age 52) of New York, on charges of Felony Theft and Possession of Stolen Property.
The investigation began on August 19th, 2010 when Security personnel from Caterpillar Incorporated contacted NICB regarding a customer who purchased a 2008 Caterpillar skid steer model 279C. The identification number on the equipment was listed as stolen in Caterpillar’s database. Upon interview with the customer, he explained that he had found the equipment for sale on E-Bay listed by James Hurst and provided Hurst with a $30,000 check for the transaction. After learning that the equipment was stolen, the customer filed a complaint with the Vermillion Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Upon further investigation, detectives located Hurst at a residence in Ponchatoula where he was storing additional equipment. After obtaining a search warrant for the property, investigators discovered a Caterpillar Backhoe 416 and a John Deer 60 inch power brush. The total estimated value of the recovered equipment is $90,000.
Hurst was placed under arrest and booked at the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.
The investigation is ongoing with more stolen property expected to be recovered. Anyone with further information or suspecting to have purchased any stolen property should contact Louisiana State Police Detectives at (225) 925-7282.