SH residents arrested in alleged metal theft

Two Sweet Home residents were arrested Saturday night after police stopped a vehicle loaded with grave markers, scrap metal and wire fencing, Police Chief Bob Burford said.

At approximately 9:15 p.m. Saturday, police received a report from the grounds caretaker at Wiley Creek Community Retirement Center, 5050 Mountain Fir Road, who said a Wiley Creek resident had reported an older dark colored pickup leaving the property loaded with wire fencing. The caretaker had gone to the property and discovered that approximately 60 feet of wire fencing and a metal bench had been stolen from the complex.

While officers were investigating, another Sweet Home officer located and stopped a vehicle loaded with scrap metal and wire fencing that matched the witness’s description of the suspect vehicle, he said.

Burford said officers recovered the stolen metal bench and the stolen wire fencing in the back of the vehicle. They also found irrigation pipe, copper wire, and metal grave markers. Officers confirmed the grave markers had been stolen from the Gilliland Cemetery, Burford said.

Gilliland Cemetery is located just outside the Sweet Home city limits, so the Linn County Sheriff’s Office responded to take the theft report from the cemetery.

The vehicle’s occupants, Kevin Lynn Hutson, 52, and Dell Louis Hutson, 49, were charged with first- and second-degree theft, and second-degree burglary.

Dell Hutson was also arrested on an unrelated warrant out of the Sweet Home Municipal Court.