Police: Third suspect connected to cookie caper

Franklin "Todd" Wayne Bradley

A third suspect in a retail theft ring has been arrested and charged, Old Fort police said Monday.

Franklin “Todd” Wayne Bradley, 53, of Burgin Street, Marion, was charged with one count each of felony obtaining property by false pretense and receiving stolen goods.

Bradley is the third suspect allegedly involved in the theft of 53-foot trailer full of Pepperidge Farm products, including cookies, goldfish crackers, pretzels and more. Carlton “Eddie” Carson, 49, of Griggs Road in Old Fort, and Michael Lee Grant, 52, of West Logan Street in Old Fort, were arrested last week in connection with the cookie heist.

Carson was charged with felony counts of organized retail theft, obtaining property by false pretense, and receiving stolen goods. Grant was charged with felony possession of stolen goods and organized retail theft. They are both out of jail on bond.

According to authorities, Grant worked for Progressive Trucking. He allegedly travelled out of state to pick up the snack order and brought it to Old Fort where he and Carson unloaded it at his business, Big Fish and Tackle, on Catawba Avenue. Grant was supposed to drop the order in Atlanta, according to police.

“Investigators from South Carolina ran across a gentleman selling the same products at a flea mark in large quantities. The items were not out of date and the billing labels came back to stolen property out of Ohio,” Old Fort Police Chief Melvin Lytle said.

The stolen shipment of goods was worth more than $100,000, and Carson banked nearly $20,000 by selling to local McDowell businesses and flea markets, including Bradley, according to police.

“He accepted money from Carson to store the product in a warehouse, and he was also selling the products from his store,” Lytle said Monday.

Bradley is the owner of Chloe’s Finds, a used furniture store, located on Catawba Avenue near Carson’s business. Bradley is also the former owner of Todd’s Four Oaks fish camp that closed several years ago.

Bradley was taken into custody in lieu of a $2,500 bond.

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