A Canaan man was arrested Sunday for his alleged role in the theft and sale of $6,000 in heavy equipment from a working gravel pit on Route 23 in Canaan in January.

Chad Demo, 29, is charged with two counts of receiving stolen property, according to James Ross, chief deputy with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department. Ross said a 6-ton flatbed trailer, a 27-ton, heavy duty wood splitter, a metal fifth wheel plate and other power and hand tools were taken from the site and from a storage trailer Jan. 19.

The trailer and the wood splitter were sold to someone who did not know they were stolen, according to Ross. The equipment has been returned to the owner. The fifth wheel plate and tools are still unaccounted for.

Ross said Demo is a suspect in the actual theft, but is charged with receiving stolen property because those charges can be proven.

“It’s the same class of crime. Everything’s exactly the same. It’s just the title that’s different,” he said. “We can definitely prove the receiving. The theft would be a little more of a challenge, but it really doesn’t matter.”

The charges are class C felonies, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The trailer is valued at about $3,000 and the wood splitter $2,700. A value for the miscellaneous items and other tools was not given, Ross said.

Ross said Detective Mathew Cunningham of the county’s criminal division followed up on tips received about the theft on Jan. 29, 10 days after the crime, and obtained an arrest warrant.

Demo was arrested on the warrant by a state trooper on Sunday and was ordered held on $3,000 cash bail. He was released Monday under provisions of the Somerset County Community Corrections Program, a pre-trial contract for supervision, according to an intake worker at the Somerset County Jail.

“Without the information provided to our detectives by the owner of the property, this case quite likely would never have been solved,” Ross said. “It drives home the point that without the cooperation of the public and their willingness to share information, we would be unable to solve many of these cases.”

Anyone with any information regarding this case is asked to contact Cunningham at 858-9529.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow


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