2 charged, 1 sought in theft of 5,000 pounds of metal



Two women have been charged and one man is being sought after police recovered thousands of stolen railroad track anchors and spikes that totaled about 2 1/2 tons.

An investigation began after Richmond County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a 911 hang-up call at a Gordon Highway motel parking lot July 31 and found a couple in a truck that was loaded with more than 2,000 pounds of metal.

Metal theft Investigator Ken­dall Brown said the driver, Bobby James Murray, was taken in on an outstanding bench warrant. Deputies took photos of the metal and interviewed the passenger, Karen Longfritz, 49, but did not charge her.

Brown later received photos of the metal and recovered the 1,060 railroad track anchors from an area scrap yard.

“No one was arrested that day,” Brown said. “We have several hundred miles of tracks here. We had to first find out if it was CSX
railroad (metal) or Norfolk Southern.”

Police received anonymous tips that led them to the residence of Amanda Holsomback, 25, Murray’s niece, at 1228 Brown Road. In the yard of the home, police discovered 1,350 railroad track spikes and 63 railroad anchors that totaled about 3,000 pounds.

After a joint investigation with Norfolk South­ern Railroad police, the group is suspected of trespassing on the Norfolk Southern Railroad Yard, at International Boulevard and Doug Barnard Parkway.

Longfritz and Hol­som­back were booked into the Richmond County jail Wednesday on charges of felony theft by taking. Police continue to search for Murray, who also faces felony charges of theft by taking.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts can contact Brown at (706) 821-1020.

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