Appling man sought in metals theft


Police are looking for an Appling man they say was one of three people stealing metal items to recycle for cash.

Benjamen Daniel Harden, 28, of the 7500 block of Winfield Road, is wanted for burglary and two counts of entering autos, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.

A Thomson man told police that at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, he caught Harden and two others stealing various car parts, tools and other metal items belonging to him and a Grovetown woman from a property on Rance Perry Road in Appling.

The 68-year-old man said he saw one person loading some items into the back of a truck and two others coming out of the house on the property.

He called 911 and a Department of Natural Resources officer, who was first to the home, stopped two of the thieves as they attempted to leave. Rusty Shannon Brown, 40, said they were stealing the items to recycle because they needed money.

Brown and Jessie Rea Hutcheson, 22, both of the 6600 block of Cobbham Road in Appling, were arrested and charged with burglary and two counts of entering an auto.

Harden ran  into some nearby woods before police arrived.

Anyone with information about Harden’s whereabouts should call the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 541-2800.




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