2 Men arrested for stealing mine equipment in Yavapai Co.Posted: Updated:
YAVAPAI COUNTY -- Yavapai County sheriff's deputies arrested two men after equipment was stolen from a mining operation east of Wickenburg.
On May 2, Yavapai County deputies responded to a reported theft at a mineral mining operation in the Buckhorn Mountains in the Castle Hot Springs area.
Sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said the victim provided a list of the stolen property, including a camper trailer, mechanics trailer, tools, a metal boat and trailer, electrical junction boxes, electrical equipment, pumps, air compressors and a large amount of copper wiring.
The victim also said the office/kitchen/sleeping quarters' unit had been completely stripped of its contents. The loss was estimated at $290,000. The victim also believed that someone might have been living at the mine site.
While driving to the property with the victim, deputies located an abandoned pickup truck containing a bed full of stolen electrical boxes stripped of copper wire. Additional electrical boxes from the mine were scattered around the truck.
Deputies identified two possible suspects. On May 5, they went to the Morristown home of Louis Gragg, 44, and found the stolen camp trailer and mechanics trailer in his yard. Gragg was not home at the time.
When deputies returned to the home on Wednesday, Gragg reportedly admitted taking both trailers and much of the listed stolen property with help from his friend, Shawn Eddington, 44. Both turned many of the items into scrap/metal recycling yards for cash.
Deputies located Eddington at his home in Whittmann. D'Evelyn said Eddington admitted helping Gragg remove property from the mine, including a boat and trailer. He also acknowledged living at the location for several days while assisting Gragg.
Gragg and Eddington were arrested and booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center. Charges include theft, criminal damage, burglary, and trafficking stolen property. Deputies are still attempting to locate items turned into recycling yards for cash, but it may be too late to recover the remaining property.
Eddington remains in custody on a $40,000 bond with a next court of May 20. Gragg bonded out Friday pending court.