Man Hired Wrecker to Steal a 70 Ton Crane to Sell for Scrap

  • He said that it was his and that he wanted to sell it for money on the side, but that wasn't the case.

Authorities say that the Alabama man is behind bars after he tried to pull off a big theft, like a really big theft. That being a 70-ton crane.

Sheriff’s deputies of Chilton County were called earlier this week regarding a theft in progress on County Road 358. When they arrived, they met the owner of the wrecker service who the man who was attempting to steal the crane, called for help. He wanted the owner to pull the crane out of the wooded area, where it was sitting at the time, behind a residence.


Johnny Kent Mims, the suspect, told the wrecker driver that the crane was given to him and that he planned to take it to a scrap yard for extra cash. The owner helped, but after pulling the crane onto the roadway, the wrecker driver remembered moving the crane a couple of years prior for a local company.

He contacted the owner of the company he’d worked with, who said that he had not in fact given the crane to anyone and that the crane wasn’t to be moved.

That’s when the owner of the wrecking company called 911.

Mims tried to drive the crane away, but ran it into a ditch and couldn’t get it out. Before deputies from the sheriff’s office could make it to the scene, Mims fled. Investigators were able to identify him though and took him into custody the next day.

Mims was arrested on both an outstanding probation violation order and first degree theft of property.

“We appreciate the concern by the local wrecker service in calling and reporting the incident,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “We have worked a lot of theft cases over the years, but this one definitely takes first place in the heavyweight category.”

What a thing to try and steal? Seesh.

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