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2 charged after skid steers stolen from Lufkin business recovered

James Tad Wheeler Jr.
James Tad Wheeler Jr.((Source: Lufkin Police Department))
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 5:29 PM CST
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Two men have been arrested, accused of stealing two skid steers from Texas Timberjack in Lufkin.

An officer was at Texas Timberjack taking the theft report Monday when the owner got a call from Game Warden Tim Walker regarding one of the stolen machines. Walker said he had received information about a suspicious truck towing a new skid steer on Grimes Cemetery Road out in the county.

Walker said he was out with the vehicle and two possible suspects identified as James Tad Wheeler Jr., 36, of Corrigan, and Richard Neisser, 28, of Henderson. The men told Walker they had gotten the machine from Texas Timberjack on Sunday and that they were headed to complete some demolition jobs. Wheeler had the keys to the machine in his pocket.

Stolen skid steer
Stolen skid steer((Source: Lufkin Police Department))

Two Lufkin Police detectives responded to the area and took over the investigation. The detectives were en route to the Department with Wheeler and Neisser when they learned an older skid steer had also been stolen from the business. Another officer recovered it.

While recovering the stolen equipment valued at $73,000, it was found that the suspects were in possession of two campers and a four-wheeler reported stolen out of Polk County. Officers also found a pair of bolt cutters in Wheeler’s truck that had been used to cut the fence at Texas Timberjack.

Police said Wheeler and Neisser are both charged with third-degree felony theft.

Wheeler has 14 previous Angelina County arrests on charges including intoxicated manslaughter, racing on a highway causing serious bodily injury, burglary of a building, theft of wire, theft of property, felony criminal mischief, public intoxication, furnishing alcohol to a minor, and taking certain wildlife resources without consent.

This is Neisser’s first Angelina County arrest.

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