More than $200,000 worth of equipment stolen from a Northfield tree-service company in September was partly recovered deep in the woods of Folsom, according to a police report.
Edmund Adkisson Jr., 24, of Galloway Township and Joseph Soltz, 32, of Egg Harbor Township were arrested and charged with conspiracy, theft and other crimes, said police Detective Sgt. Steven Steinecke, who is handling the case.
The owner of Brownies Tree Service, Joseph “Nico” Shear, said he was devastated when he woke up the morning of Sept. 18 to find his equipment missing.
“I thought my life was over,” he said. “I didn’t have the money to buy new equipment.”
Shear called police to report a bucket truck and a dump truck missing from the 200 block of Ridgewood Avenue. The machines were usually parked with the keys in them, according to a police report.
Shear said he believed Adkisson was involved because the suspect is a former employee of the company and sent a text message to Shear, from a cell phone bought for him by Shear, that didn’t make sense.
A police report indicates one of the trucks was found three days later, on Sept. 21, and towed from the site in Folsom.
“It was really in the middle of the woods in Folsom,” Shear said.
Chainsaws and other equipment also were recovered, Shear said.
“I lost out on 11 days of business,” Shear said, adding that his loss totaled a couple thousand dollars.
Adkisson was charged with second-degree conspiracy/ theft in connection with the theft of tree-trimming equipment valued at over $200,000, Steinecke said. He was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and a hypodermic syringe, and there was a second charge of theft. Police say he cashed a stolen check from East Coast Plumbing in the amount of $2,600 at Sun Bank in Northfield on Sept. 18.
Soltz was charged with third-degree conspiracy/theft in connection with the theft and sale of $4,500 worth of chainsaws, Steinecke said. He was released on a summons, and subsequently arrested again and charged with second degree conspiracy/theft in connection with the theft of more than $200,000 worth of tree-service equipment, Steinecke said.
“The Northfield police were amazing — they found my equipment so fast and arrested two guys within two weeks of this,” Shear said in a phone conversation at the beginning of October.
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