March 16, 2011 by wcobserver
WEST FORK- Sheriff deputies got a lucky break on Tuesday in a routine traffic stop that helped solve a burglary before it had even been discovered.
At approximately 3:30 p.m. March 8, Washington County deputies pulled over a tan colored Ford 150 pickup pulling a trailer. During the stop, deputies discovered about 6 tons of copper wire in the truck and trailer valued at $20,000.
Sgt. Brett Hagen, with the sheriff’s criminal investigation unit, said deputies became suspicious and noticed copper wire consistent with what is used at APAC McClinton Rock Quarry in West Fork. He said deputies were familiar with the type of wire used at the quarry because of an ongoing investigation into thefts that occurred at the quarry last year. According to Hagen, deputies called APAC McClinton Anchor and after checking, reported the quarry had been burglarized within the last several hours.
Michael Duane Beeks, 39 of Prairie Grove and Waylon Kenneth Hinshaw, 33 of Fayetteville were arrested on three felony charges including commercial burglary, breaking and entering and theft of property. A Washington County Sheriff’s office news release stated that Beeks and Hinshaw used a cutting torch and other tools to make forced entry into the business.
During the past year, at least three copper burglaries have been reported at APAC McClinton Anchor’s West Fork quarry, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in losses for the company.
Hagen said he didn’t know at this time whether they’d be able to connect Beeks and Hinshaw to the other burglaries and the case was still under investigation. He said they’d be submitting evidence garnered in Tuesday’s arrest to the state crime lab so it could be compared to evidence collected in the burglaries last year.