Rowan deputies had tip in catching Bobcat thieves
It was more than good timing that enabled Rowan deputies to catch two men in the act of stealing a small front-end loader Tuesday, officials say.
Bobby Leon Tart Jr., 29, of Burlington and Ramiro Silva Valdez, 42, of Graham are charged with felony larceny, felony conspiracy and possession of a key or device for breaking and entering.
Tart is also charged with resisting a public officer.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division had received information Tart was planning to come to Rowan to steal a Bobcat-type front-end loader.
Undercover detectives say they provided information about the location of a Bobcat and said it was chained to a tree with no key.
One man indicated he had a key and would steal the tractor after dark Tuesday, officials say. Detectives arranged for a Bobcat owned by a deputy to be at the location.
After dark, two men arrived in a pickup truck and “in a matter of seconds” had the Bobcat running, a report says. One of the men used the Bobcat to break the lock and chain. At that point, deputies moved in.
Detectives found a set of keys for the Bobcat and similar vehicles. Detectives also found a set of bolt cutters.
The Bobcat is valued at $15,000.
Officials say it is likely the two are responsible for similar crimes in the area and surrounding counties.
Anybody with information about these men can contact Lt. C.A. Moose 704-216-8687 or Sgt. J. Owens at 704-216-8683.