December 11, 2003

Alleged Thief Snared By Stolen Traps

A lengthy investigation by the Scotland County Sheriffís Department has resulted in the arrest of one local man in a case of missing traps.

Corey E. Simerl, 18, of Memphis was arrested December 2. He faces charges related to the recovery of a number of traps recaptured by the sheriffís department.

Chief Deputy Bill Holland stated that complaints had been received from seven different trappers regarding missing traps that had apparently been taken from a number of trap lines across the county, many times complete with the furbearer captured in the trap.

The department located some of the missing traps that had been moved and re-set. Officers watched the sight and were able to take into custody a number of juveniles that reportedly were working the trap line consisting of the alleged stolen property.

The investigation then led to Simerl, who likely will be charged with either stealing or receiving stolen property.

The department indicated that only a small number of the stolen traps had been recovered but noted that officers were moving in on the remainder of the missing property and additional arrests were likely. The officers urged individuals associated with the case to turn over the property as quickly as possible to avoid further legal action.

A $500 reward is being offered for the return of the stolen traps, animals and evidence leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves.

Officers also requested trap owners that are missing property to contact the office (465-2106) as well as any landowners or travelers that may have seen suspicious behavior near bridges, ditches or other common areas used by trappers to capture raccoons and other furbearers.

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