Stolen county equipment found in ditch

Published 7:00 am Friday, April 11, 2014

Shawn D. Lawson

Shawn D. Lawson

The Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department has arrested a suspect in connection with stolen county road department equipment, said Chief Deputy Shane Tucker.

Tucker said a county road department work crew had been working on a project on Go Go Road on March 19. At the end of the day, the crew decided to leave the equipment outside overnight to continue the work the next morning, Tucker said.

When the crew returned on March 20, they discovered the excavator was missing, Tucker said.

Road Department Manager Dale Miller said the crew called the foreman and Miller to report the missing equipment to the sheriff’s department.

The crew found the excavator shortly after the report was made in water-filled trench at the home of 33-year-old Shawn D. Lawson, located at 322 Go Go Rd, Tucker said.

Lawson was arrested and charged with grand larceny, Tucker said.

Tucker said the investigation showed Lawson was trying to use the excavator to dig to release water that had collected in the trench on his property. In the process, the equipment fell in the hole and became largely submerged.

Miller said damage to the equipment totaled $60,034.67. He said he hopes repairs are possible because the road department doesn’t have the funds to replace the excavator.

Miller added that it took crews most of the day to remove the excavator from the hole and the department has now implemented a policy that states all equipment must be returned to the county barn to prevent a future incidents from occurring.