ATHENS COUNTY — A large piece of equipment stolen from the Athens County Engineer’s substation has been located and a suspect identified.
According to a news release from the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, on Jan. 6, the Athens County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a 2004 Gradall machine being stolen from the Athens County Engineer’s Office Substation on Vanderhoof Road. The Gradall is valued at $100,000. At the time of the initial report, one of the sightings of the machine was in Meigs County.
During the theft investigation, a person of interest was identified, located and arrested on Jan. 11, regarding an unrelated theft warrant.
On Monday, sheriff’s office detectives John Deak and Brice Fick interviewed Robert M. Reel II, age 25, of Brister Road, Coolville. Detectives were reportedly able to obtain a confession from Reel reference theft of the Gradall. Reel ultimately agreed to take detectives to the location of the machine.
The Gradall was found to be parked at the Fairview Methodist Church in Jackson County, West Virginia. Detectives do not believe the church was involved with the case.
The Athens County Engineer’s Office was contacted for the recovery of the machine.
Currently, the investigation remains ongoing. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office and Athens County Engineer’s Office for the recovery of the vehicle.
Information from the Athens County Sheriff’s Office.