Stolen generator recovered

Published 12:11 am Thursday, June 4, 2015

NATCHEZ — Adams County’s $20,000 generator that was stolen from a Red Cross shelter late last month has been recovered from a residence in Louisiana.

Natchez Police Department Detective Jerry Ford said the generator — which was stolen from the shelter at Community Chapel Church of God in the Morgantown area — was located in Columbia, La.

The generator was apparently purchased by an acquaintance of one of the men arrested for the theft earlier this week, Ray A. Gibson, 40, 402 College St.

Email newsletter signup

A second suspect, Larry E. Smith, 25, 205 Oakland Drive, was also charged in the theft.

Ford said the purchaser of the generator will not be charged with a crime.

“The guy who purchased the generator honestly didn’t know it was stolen,” Ford said

“The guy that sold it to him is a guy he does business with; (Gibson) does all his diesel mechanic work. (The buyer) said it was someone he actually trusted, and he had no knowledge of him being involved with that before.”

Adams County officials were able to take possession of the generator after it was recovered, and Ford said the equipment appeared to be intact.

Adams County Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford said his office is getting the generator serviced and will re-install it at the shelter in the coming week.

“We are going to secure it a little better, and I think this time we won’t have to worry about them taking it,” Bradford said. “It is a blessing we got it back, and hats off to the Natchez police officers for getting it back.”

The suspects allegedly used a truck to pull the generator free from its moorings before the truck became stuck. They the reportedly got a second truck with a trailer and loaded the generator onto the trailer to remove it from the area.