Men Arrested, Accused Of Stealing Crane Test Weights From OKC Business

Thursday, March 22nd 2012, 10:17 pm
By: News 9

An undercover sting put an end to a duo's brazen crime spree. Police say two men had been ripping off a local business for more than three months. Those men are now behind bars.

The thieves are accused of stealing up to 15 crane test weights that range from 2,000 to 3,600 pounds each.

"It's pretty crazy," Gaffey Crane service manager Ed Lara said.

Lara says seven times in the last several months it has been the same routine, same truck and same men.

"These guys kept coming by and stealing our test weights," Lara said.

Police say Elmer William Momsen and James Keith Cronch stole thousands of dollars in the solid steel mass. Lara installed a camera to help nab the thieves after becoming a victim of theft more than once. The video shows the men hitting up the business anywhere from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

"In the back of their truck they actually have… an apparatus they were hooking up [to] the chain hook," Lara said. "That way they could ratchet the weights in the back of the truck."

With the cameras in place, Lara went to police, and undercover officers were sent in.

"I happen to be looking at the monitor, and there they were … backing up … ready to steal another test weight," Lara said.

The night Lara saw the suspects on his monitor live, is the night the suspects earned a trip to the county jail.

"As our undercover officers were in the area, they did spot a truck … that actually pulled onto the property… loaded something onto the truck and left," Oklahoma City Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow.

The crane company says it costs up to $3,000 to replace just one weight. Police think the men were selling the weights to a recycling facility. Police found 15 receipts in the truck ranging from $45 to $279.

Police are still looking for a third suspect related to the case. If you have any information you are urged to call Oklahoma City Police.