Man steals backhoe from site to truck stolen gravel to own yard

Posted at 7:38 PM, Oct 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-23 19:40:38-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--South Richmond neighbors like Rene Paz are curious after a bizarre incident happened several weeks ago.

“Why would you even do something like that?," Paz said.

Richmond Police responded to the construction site attached to Broadrock Elementary School  after neighbors called in the details on the last weekend in September.  Several who live close to the school told police they saw their neighbor 68-year-old Jerry Scott riding a backhoe filled with dirt back and forth from the site to a neighbor’s backyard.

Witnesses told police it struck them as odd because it was a Saturday evening and crews are not typically at work.

"Seeing them go up and down the street with it, that would have sparked some curiosity and I would have called the cops," Paz said.

After further investigation police charged Scott with three felonies. They believe he broke in to the construction site, commandeered a back hoe from inside the fence line and then used it steal a large amount of gravel.

"Hopefully it can be resolved with him, you know if he returned the equipment that's what it sounds like he tried to do," said nearby neighbor Millie Hughes.

The backhoe was returned to the site but the construction company owner Dwight Snead claimed it was damaged. He claimed that damage to the fence line and to his equipment will cost between seven and $8,000 dollars to repair.

Scott is charged with grand larceny, unlawful use of equipment and destruction of property.

CBS 6 attempted to interview Scott in his driveway on Tuesday but he declined to say anything more than that his charges were based on a misunderstanding.

Many neighbors describe Scott as a likeable person, claim the situation is also unfortunate because they lend each other help all the time.

"You could probably go to someone and ask if you can have some [gravel] off their lot," said Paz.