Two Old Fort men cooked up a snack-truck heist that banked thousands of dollars from local consumers, according to police.
Old fort police officers have charged Carlton “Eddie” Carson, 49, of 319 Griggs Road in Old Fort, with one felony count each of organized retail theft, obtaining property by false pretense, and receiving stolen goods. Carson is the owner of Big Fish and Tackle located on Catawba Avenue in Old Fort.
They also charged Michael Lee Grant, 52, of 40 West Logan Street, Old Fort, with one felony count each of possession of stolen goods and organized retail theft. He drives a transfer truck for Progressive Trucking.
Both suspects were detained on Friday, July 24 after an investigation spanning several states led to the pair. Chief Melvin Lytle, of the OFPD, said Wednesday that his officers became aware of a stolen shipment of $130,000 worth of Pepperidge Farm cookies, crackers and other items that was connected to suspects in Old Fort.
“Investigators from South Carolina ran across a gentleman selling the same products at a flea market in large quantities. The items were not out of date and the billing labels came back to stolen property out of Ohio,” said Lytle.
Grant had allegedly picked up the Pepperidge Farm shipment in Ohio through his employment with the trucking company and was supposed to be en route to Atlanta for delivery. Lytle said that Grant and Carson apparently masterminded a scheme to sell the snack items at local flea markets and businesses and in South Carolina.
“Carson then profited over $20,000 by up-selling the product in South Carolina. Officers have recovered around 500 cartons of the 1,885 cartons stolen,” a news release said. “The investigation has led to multiple suspects throughout three states. Charges are pending in Ohio and South Carolina.”
The news release also said merchandise was stored at Chloe’s Finds, a used furniture store on Catawba Avenue, right across the street from Carson’s tackle shop.
“A third suspect is wanted and warrants are issued for their arrest, but they have not been located yet. The investigation is still ongoing,” the report said. “The third suspect’s name will not be released until apprehension.”
Carson is free on a $50,000 bond. Grant’s bond was set at $10,000. He is also out of jail.
They both have a probable cause hearings set for Aug. 14.