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Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Celina man faces felony theft charges

By Margie Wuebker
A 27-year-old Celina man faces a felony charge stemming from the theft of construction supplies from Shinn Brothers Inc.
Grant Lee Sullivan, 632 Grove St., Apt. 7, was taken into custody Wednesday and booked into the Mercer County Detention Center in connection with the theft initially reported to Celina Police on Jan. 4.
Company representatives filed a police report after discovering a large number of I-beams used in the construction of seawalls were missing from their Summit Street storage lot. The investigation also revealed several steel grates missing from the same location.
Police subsequently located the I-beams at III Sons Wrecking, north of Celina and the grates at Graveyard II Auto Wrecking.
Sullivan was identified as the likely suspect through records scrap yards keep when customers come with metal to sell, police chief Dave Slusser said.
Police located Sullivan on Jan. 11 in possession of dozens of sections of rebar (metal used in concrete work), which also came from Shinn Brothers.
"We suspect that he had help loading the 8- to 10-foot I-beams into the back of his car, but the suspect is not talking about an accomplice," Slusser said. "We have our suspicions but no evidence at this point."
Witnesses interviewed during the investigation reportedly told police they had seen a hatchback-style car with beams sticking out the back.
Slusser also suspects Sullivan made a number of trips to and from the storage facility to collect 30 to 50 I-beams and the other items with a value in excess of $5,000.
Law enforcement officers have dealt with a number of scrap metal thefts in recent years as metal prices have escalated.
"Scrap yards are required to keep records and that has proven to be a big benefit to us," Slusser said.
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