Barbour County Officials Uncover Theft Ring

BARBOUR COUNTY, AL (WXTX) -  Behind the Barbour County Sheriff's Office in Clayton, Alabama sits a loot of stolen goods-SUVs and four wheelers Sheriff LeRoy Upshaw says have been illegally altered.

"Right here is where the serial number belongs on this type vehicle. You can see where it's been ground off. That in itself is illegal. You can't alter a serial number on anything,"Upshaw said as he showed a WXTX news crew the items.

Upshaw says he found all of it behind one Barbour County home after getting a tip and knew right away the cars and other all-terrain vehicles had fallen into a criminal's hands.

"You obviously tell it's obviously been repainted. It was a yellow four wheeler," he explained as he walked through the lot.

The sheriff believes this is the work of a group of individuals who have been stealing and selling pricey equipment and cars in different counties.

"It's my belief that the four wheelers and items we recovered were stolen out of Mobile County and brought to Barbour County to sell and the items- four wheelers and trailers and things- are stolen out of Barbour County and taken out of Barbour County to sell," he said.

The sheriff says those involved in the criminal enterprise are sticking to the roads less traveled, trying to stay under the radar of authorities by hauling stolen goods back and forth on rural county roads.

"We've had a rash of thefts of ATVs recently in the past year or so. We've had a lot of them stolen and haven't recovered very many and I believe that's due to the fact that they get them out of the county as soon as they steal them," added Upshaw.

Sheriff Upshaw says he is working with authorities in Mobile County, Alabama to track and locate a suspect- a man whose name he is not yet releasing but who he says will face multiple charges.

The Barbour County Sheriff's Office is pulling what VIN and serial numbers they can from the stolen items.

Officials are also working with the manufacturers to help identify the goods and return them to their rightful owners.