Investigation into stolen metal pipes leads to arrest

An investigation into a report that metal pipes that were reportedly stolen from a business on the east side of Pine Bluff resulted in the arrest of a Jefferson County man who allegedly sold the pipes to a wrecking yard.

Police Detective Brad Vilches said James Woods, 55, was not an employee of Producers Rice Mill, where the pipes were stolen, and did not have authorization to sell the pipes.

During a court hearing Wednesday, Deputy Prosecutor Maxie Kizer said an employee of the rice mill, located at 121 Kansas St., told officers he and other employees were repairing rice bins and noticed that six stand pipes valued at more than $1,000 were missing.

Kizer said the employee started checking scrap metal dealers and found the pipes at Lites Wrecking Yard on West Sixth Avenue. The employee then contacted police.

Vilches reported that employees at the wrecking yard had collected a driver’s license and had video of Woods selling the pipes.

Kizer repored that Woods is currently on parole and has multiple prior felony convictions.

Pine Bluff District Judget John Kearney set a $25,000 bond for Woods after ruling that prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with theft by receiving.

The Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent Woods, and he was told to come back to court April 17.