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 Post subject: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:21 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Baltimore, MD
https://pilotonline.com/news/local/crim ... c0ca4.html

http://www.roanoke-chowannewsherald.com ... -in-crash/

Someone apparently stealing new tieplates and other rail materials stacked at a crossing on the North Carolina & Virginia RR near Ahoskie, NC paid the ultimate price while apparently fleeing from police interrogation:

Quote:
Tarris Lamont Wilkins, 40, of Windsor, died at the scene about 7 a.m. on Brick Mill Road north of Windsor, said 1st Sgt. Rodney Sawyer of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

The 1995 Ford Explorer was loaded with more than 100 rail plates weighing about 2,000 pounds, he said. The plates are used to fasten rails to wood cross ties. Investigators believe the weight of the plates shifted as Wilkins went around a curve in the road. The Explorer overturned and Wilkins was ejected, he said. Plates were scattered over the area.


This is a gentle reminder to all that haven't figured it out yet that there are fiends out there desperate enough to steal any metal they can pick up in quantity for as little as $100 a ton--that $100 is their next week's rent, food, or a drug fix. The huge pieces that can't be picked up might be safe, but there have been reports around here of trucks dragging steel beams off their rears, so..... don't leave your spike buckets, stacks of tieplates, etc. lying about. If they sense "easy pickings," they'll be back to steal copper from your locos, stainless panels, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:45 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:08 am
Posts: 13
The State of Ohio has laws regarding the sale of railroad scrap to scrap metal dealers. One requirement is that the seller of such scrap have a letter from the railroad authorizing the sale of its materials to scrap dealers by third-party sellers.

One day while working at the Ohio Central RR, I received a call from a third-party scrap seller requesting just such an authorization letter from us, as the local scrap yard refused to purchase this unknown man’s scrap rails without our prior approval in a formal, written letter. This young man was quite proud that he and his buddy had “found some old rails lying beside the railroad track, but we were able to get ‘em loaded and hauled to my house.”

“In order for me to write any authorization letter about this,” I said, “I will need your full name, address, phone number, and your social security number, your vehicle’s license plate number and your driver’s license number for identification.” The man excitedly rattled-off all the requested info and I jotted it down, nonchalantly asking him why he had taken the rails. Without thinking, he said that they were rusty, were just lying there and were not being used. “Uh, huh,” I uttered. “So, that means that I can go to your house and take your bar-b-q grill, lawn furniture and maybe even your pick-up truck because they are rusty, just sitting there and not being used?” The man was confused at first, then dumbfounded. I continued, “Those rails are owned by this railroad, are sitting on our property, and you had to drive two miles alongside one of our tracks to reach the place where we were storing them. Those rails were sitting there until our employees had an opportunity to install them into our tracks. You and your friend stole those rails. You have broken local, state and federal laws by stealing railroad property. We prosecute people who steal from us.” The man got nervous and anxious.

“I’ll tell you what, Mr. Smith” (not his real name). “I will give you one hour to return those rails to the place where you stole them from us. Right after this conversation, I will call our railroad policeman to be there in 45 minutes to meet you when you arrive with the rails. If you do not show up, he will go out and arrest you for grand theft, because railroad rails are made of high quality steel that bring high prices as scrap.”

“I…I…I can’t return them that fast. I will need someone to help me load them. Besides, I’m at work right now.”

“Too bad,” I bellowed. “Call your friend who helped you steal the rails—heck, call several friends—and have them hurry-up and help you load those rails…right now! Our railroad police officer—who has even more authority across the state than regular, local law enforcement officers—will meet you there in one hour, or both of you will be going to jail.”

Our old, rusty, scrap rails were returned within the hour, the two thieves were not arrested by our legitimate railroad cop, and two scared guys maybe learned a valuable lesson.

John B. Corns


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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:36 pm
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Considering that a 1995 Exploder was still built on the Ranger frame and are only rated for 1/4 ton, he was 3 times his rated capacity. I surprised he didn't blow the tires before he got out of the yard with them rubbing the fender wells.

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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:38 pm 
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Posts: 1903
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
John, I loved your story. I once called the cops on a bunch of people shoveling spikes from a massive pile next to a BNSF main into a pickup truck. I advised them that it was theft and I got blank stares. "No, they just left them here," one woman said. I replied that they're clearly supplies left to be picked up and used. They never got it.

Didn't Tweetsie RR in Blowing Rock have someone try to steal a bunch of their rails in the off-season?

The internet abounds with photos and videos of 'abandoned' buildings, vehicle and whatever, as if someone leaving something out in the open means anyone can do anything they want with it.
Same with that guy in your neighborhood who hasn't done anything with that old car rusting away in his backyard. He'll probably never get to it, but he can leave it there to rust if he owns it. However, people don't seem to get that, and they'll still pound on his door at all hours, demanding they sell it to them (always at a scrap-rate price, of course).
Open land that's not being used? Why, that's an open invite for quad riders! I have an acre and a half of land that we’ve paid off the bank for a few months ago. About ¾ of it is open, flat, former farm land. We keep it mowed down and for years, I used to have to go to the back of the property to tell people to quit riding quads (and horses sometimes) back there. “But nobody’s using it,” was ALWAYS the response. “Fine,” I’d tell them, “then where’s your yard? I have a WW2 Jeep and I’d love to ride through your back yard when you’re not using it.” Blank stares would usually follow or a total lack of grasping the analogy. One guy even said he’d get the cops to move ME out of their way and implied he was packing (we live in an open-carry state). I replied that if he wasn’t off my land in the next few seconds, he’d never be that sorry again because I was for SURE packing and don’t take threats on my own property lightly. They don't come around anymore once houses surrounded the easements they used to use, but it was a pain for a long time.

I was once offered the option to buy a 18" gauge mining train and track, with a running locomotive. I planned out getting a large shed built to look like a RR depot and plotted where I'd lay the track. After a while, I decided not to as I wasn't sure if my job would move me soon or not and I didn't want to do that work for nothing. But foremost in my mind was leaving all that outside at night and when I was away, knowing how likely it'd be that one day, some (of not all) of it would be gone to fuel someone's meth habit.

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Last edited by p51 on Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:17 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:58 am
Posts: 8
I used to have a switch stand in front of my garage, a trophy from my days working for a track contractor. One corner of the base casting, which had the spike holes, was broken, and it could not be used on the railroad. I asked the local foreman if I could have it, and he said I could, if I could carry it to my truck.

It was stolen out of my front yard last summer. We have droves of scavengers who go through the neighborhood on bulk trash day; and I'm sure one of them took it and sold it for scrap.


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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:25 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:20 pm
Posts: 127
Quote:
The internet abounds with photos and videos of 'abandoned' buildings, vehicle and whatever, as if someone leaving something out in the open means anyone can do anything they want with it.


That's one of my pet peeves. Internet sites that openly show criminal trespass into "abandoned" buildings, rail yards, etc. You can bet somebody is paying taxes on the property. I was brought up to respect other people's property.

Gotta love this idiot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9brE22EaKo0


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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 448
Location: Byers, Colorado
Out here in rural Colorado, we take "stand your ground" quite seriously. So do the scrap metal thieves now that they have a few holes in their truck to prove that the 357 the boss keeps handy is LOADED.

Every bit of privately owned railroad equipment located around my project has all been vandalized and grafitied, BUT nobody has hit a lick on any of it since it was abandoned ("stored") at least 15 years ago. The landowner cleans up the weeds and trash now and then.

On the other hand, not a soul has bothered little Audrey, or any of the 15" gauge trains which all the school kids get to ride on when they're little. I like to think it pays to be nice to people (when you CAN). I also think it helps if you take care of your stuff (but look at all the well cared for exhibits that have been vandalized). See paragraph one...

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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1048
Location: Youngstown, OH
Interesting that the incident happened in Ahoskie, NC. That little town is about as "middle of nowhere" that you can get. A friend owns a steel plate warehouse down there and is served by that same shortline. I spent quite a bit of time down there when they were getting that plant up and running.

What is even more interesting is that they have a hard time finding workers who will make money the legal way, but apparently there are those willing to work even harder to make even less by stealing.

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Steel Industry Preservationist, Narrow Gauge Railroader and ALCOhaulic


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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:48 pm 
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Posts: 1903
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Rick Rowlands wrote:
What is even more interesting is that they have a hard time finding workers who will make money the legal way, but apparently there are those willing to work even harder to make even less by stealing.

There'll always be the 'something for nothing' types that cannot grasp that they often spend so much time on their 'scores' than they'd actually make way more flipping burgers for the same timeframe and not worry about getting arrested. In short, for many of them, they'd make more money with a less stressful 'normal' job but they would never do that.
A pal of mine is a counselor for people like that, working with parole offices, and he says he's about done with trying to get these people to understand how much time they put into this nonsense v/s how little reward they get from it. One guy actually spent way more money in gas trolling around for scores like this than what he got out of the stuff he stole and fenced. But my friend could not get him to see it that way, as the guy was locked in a mindset of, "But I got it for nothing" when he really didn't. He's convinced it's a mental disorder like any other.
But some people love living like that, a rootless existence where you're always a step ahead of homelessness and the law, all because you think you're 'getting over on the man' by stealing or cheating from others for what is often less money than a teenager makes at Burger King...

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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:35 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:28 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Northern WV
In order to hold a legal job, you have to have some self-discipline. You have to show up regularly on-time. You need to be able to take orders from a boss and get along with your co-workers. For most jobs, you have to pass a drug test and not have a rap sheet a mile long.

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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:12 am
Posts: 464
Location: Somewhere off the coast of New England
Without going into the who and where -

Many years ago there were two very marginal short lines in the same general part of the world whose owners just did not get along. In fact their relationship was such that they once came to fisticuffs at what was supposed to be a professional conference. Anything which went wrong on one railroad was always blamed on the other one and I mean everything, even snowstorms.

Now, before any of you think you are making an educated guess, No, it is not those two. It is not even the same state as those two.

Early one morning the the constabulary interdicted an old pick-up truck on a back road with several hundred tie plates and joint bars in the bed. The interdiction was not too terribly difficult as a rear spring hanger had broken off under the weight. The constables, thinking that there was a scrapyard in their manor which was accepting railroad material, offered all sorts of inducements to find out what yard was buying. It turned out there was no buyer. The two miscreants were casual labour at one railroad and had been told to collect all of the loose plates and bars they could find along the second railroad.

GME

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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8354
Location: Baltimore, MD
WVNorthern wrote:
In order to hold a legal job, you have to have some self-discipline. You have to show up regularly on-time. You need to be able to take orders from a boss and get along with your co-workers. For most jobs, you have to pass a drug test and not have a rap sheet a mile long.


In the process of verifying the details of this story before I posted it, I managed to trip into an (alleged) account of the deceased's criminal record. It started with a "driving without license and registration" and went on from there, with only one incident of "receiving stolen property" or whatever the charge was. All in all, it looked much more like a classic case of someone who was down on his luck getting caught in the classic spiral of losing a job, can't afford to do anything but survive, and when the law catches him once it just snowballs from an inability to get to court. Cop stops him, has an outstanding charge, he flees......

I'm in no way defending the guy, but the plight of poverty hits worse in the rural heartland than in our urban areas, in an area like Ahoskie where you might only have a Wal-Mart because it drove all the local stores out of business, and it's 20 miles away, and then your 22-year-old clunker breaks down and you have no way to fix it or get anywhere to fix it or make the money to pay for it once you fix it......


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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:40 pm 
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train guy wrote:
Quote:
The internet abounds with photos and videos of 'abandoned' buildings, vehicle and whatever, as if someone leaving something out in the open means anyone can do anything they want with it.


That's one of my pet peeves. Internet sites that openly show criminal trespass into "abandoned" buildings, rail yards, etc. You can bet somebody is paying taxes on the property. I was brought up to respect other people's property.

Gotta love this idiot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9brE22EaKo0
actually you're wrong A lot of times taxes haven't been paid on these places and the property reverts back to the city, or in the case of old insane asylums are owned by the state. If a building is wide open and there are no fences or the signs that say no trespassing. It is very difficult to build a case against someone who enters.


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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:42 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 252
Location: San Diego area
Pacific Southwest RR Museum, in Campo, CA (50 miles east of San Diego, along the Mexican border) used to run to Tecate, Mexico, about 14 miles west of Campo. The border was at about the half-way point. About 6 or 8 years ago, Tunnel 3, about a third of a mile into Mexico burned and collapsed, thus ending our trips to Tecate. Last year, the Mexican railroad started work on daylighting the tunnel in an effort to re-open the line from Tijuana to interchange with the UP in Plaster City, CA. While working on the daylighting project, they discovered that a short distance west of the tunnel, a large section of track had been ripped up. Not too long after that, US and Mexican border agents in the area of the border between San Diego & Tijuana discovered a tunnel under the border that would be used for smuggling "contraband" into the US. Very nice tunnel, complete with rails. Wasn't that a coincidence! I don't remember whether or not the perps were caught.


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 Post subject: Re: Sometimes The Bad Guys Lose
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:00 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:32 pm
Posts: 189
RCD wrote:
train guy wrote:
Quote:
The internet abounds with photos and videos of 'abandoned' buildings, vehicle and whatever, as if someone leaving something out in the open means anyone can do anything they want with it.


That's one of my pet peeves. Internet sites that openly show criminal trespass into "abandoned" buildings, rail yards, etc. You can bet somebody is paying taxes on the property. I was brought up to respect other people's property.

Gotta love this idiot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9brE22EaKo0
actually you're wrong A lot of times taxes haven't been paid on these places and the property reverts back to the city, or in the case of old insane asylums are owned by the state. If a building is wide open and there are no fences or the signs that say no trespassing. It is very difficult to build a case against someone who enters.



That's not the point. It boils down to "Is it yours? No? THEN DON'T F**KING TOUCH IT!" If we all lived by this principle, the world would be a better place.


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