About 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, Game Warden Brian Bearden contacted the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office and requested assistance on County Road 4807 on people stealing property from the railroad, according to a news release.
As he investigated the call, he observed three individuals walking down the tracks pulling a homemade cart that ran on the rails of the track, the release states.
“When he called out to them, they removed some items from the cart and placed them in the woods,” officials said in a news release. “Officer Bearden was able to detain one of the suspects, but the other two fled from the scene.”
According to a news release, Bearden learned the three individuals were removing railroad spikes and “hooks” from the railroad bed, and selling them as scrap iron. Officer Bearden also determined the identity and possible location of the two individuals who fled.
All three were taken to the Cherokee County Jail, and the stolen spikes, hooks and the homemade cart were brought to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office as evidence.
According to a news release, the property that belongs to the railroad will be counted, photographed and released back to the railroad. The cart will remain with authorities as evidence. Capt. John Raffield, with the sheriff's office, said Thursday afternoon that there were more than 200 railroad spikes and eight hooks.
All three individuals were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a class A misdemeanor, and interference with railroad property, a class B misdemeanor. Their bonds were set at $2,000 for each charge.
Raffield said Thursday that more charges may be filed if there is more damage to the railroad than was originally known at the time of the arrests.