“It’s very much an ongoing investigation that will end up going federal,” said Cpl. Ken Scott with the Polk County Police Department.
He said federal authorities talked to him Thursday about taking over the case because of the number of jurisdictions involved, including Polk, Haralson, Floyd and Carroll counties, as well as the cities of Leesburg and Heflin, Ala.
Scott said this case was “very similar” to the chop shop ring busted last year in Polk County because they were using multiple locations and altering vehicle identification numbers.
Two men have been arrested and Scott said they are investigating a third suspect.
Jimmy Jess Ingram, 27, of 156 Wilson Road, Cedartown, and Hubert Hunt, 34, of 1735 Perryman Bridge Road, Heflin, Ala., were arrested last week. Ingram remains in the Polk County Jail and Hunt remains incarcerated in Alabama.
The men face five charges of owning and operating a chop shop and seven counts of theft by receiving. Scott said more charges are expected to come from Floyd County, Bremen and other communities.
Scott said Polk County officers recovered five trailers that were reported stolen from Floyd and Polk counties. The three trailer from Floyd County were found in Alabama and the other two were found at Ingram’s residence in Cedartown, according to officials.
Two vehicles, a 2005 Ford F-450 crew cab truck and a Freightlinert tractor-truck were also found at Ingram’s residence in Cedartown, Scott said. The Ford was reported stolen from a location in Bremen and the Freightliner was reported stolen from Polk County, he said.
Additionally, officers recovered a Mack truck reported stolen from Polk County and recovered in Heflin.
Scott said law enforcement agencies are seeing a rise in thefts of tractor-trailers and similar high-dollar equipment, even though that type of equipment is harder to steal and to conceal. However, he the two men arrested had an inside track on finding the items.
“These guys were in the trucking industry. They knew were to find them. They knew where guys in the industry were putting their stuff,” Scott said.