$250,000 in parts taken from fort

Investigators are trying to determine how almost a quarter-million dollars worth of parts were stolen from a Fort Gordon maintenance facility.

Marquette Mitchell, 37, of the 2300 block of Helsinki Drive, and Omar Gavin, 33, of the 1000 block of Kent Street, are charged with two counts each of felony theft by receiving stolen property, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

Investigator Kendall Brown, who investigates metal thefts, said he saw the men unloading Army-style duffel bags at Campbell's Recycling Center last week. After tracing their information, he discovered that the men were day laborers with Akima Corp., a subcontractor on post. The men are accused of stealing more than $249,000 worth of maintenance items, including antennas and cable used on Humvees.

"These guys had a total disregard for operational security," Investigator Brown said. "These are sensitive items -- military antenna items."

Investigator Brown said police are not sure how the parts got through security. Military officials said they are investigating the possibility that more people were involved.

The men received only $308 from the center for parts valued at just over $100,000, according to Investigator Brown. The other stolen items were recovered Saturday from a home on Holloway Drive, where police said the parts were hidden before sale.

Army investigators said they are pursuing federal charges.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.