ELIZABETHTON — Two men were arrested Monday afternoon on charges of stealing steel that was being salvaged from the old rail bed of the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad.
Jackie Lee Johnson, 54, 309 South View Circle, and Justine Ross Markland, 19, 122 Ed Stout Road, Hampton, were each charged with theft over $1,000. They are scheduled to answer the charges in Sessions Court on June 4.
Officers Kirk Carrier and Jordan Ensor of the Elizabethton Police Department responded to a theft in progress on Stateline Road at 2 p.m. On arrival, they met with Paul Yeager, owner of Yeager Railroad Salvage. Yeager told them he had just seen a white Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck loaded with railroad pieces of the type his company was dismantling.
Ensor said Yeager was able to stop the truck. The men were identified as Johnson and Markland. Ensor said Markland told him they had loaded the steel into the truck in the vicinity of the Big Lots store. He said he saw other people taking the steal and thought it was okay to help himself.
Carrier said Johnson offered to return the metal to where he got it and said he hoped the officers would give him a summons for the offense.