Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies recently arrested two north Natchitoches Parish men in connection with a theft at Roy O Martin Plywood Plant in south Natchitoches Parish according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Early Wednesday morning, August 7th, at approximately 2:13am, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division responded to reports of a theft in progress at Roy O Martin Plywood Plant, in the 1600 block of La. Hwy 490 in Chopin, La.
Roy O Martin officials reported observing a subject on an all-terrain vehicle pulling a cart in the rear of the plant in an area called the “bone yard” allegedly stealing items where metals, copper and machinery are stored.
Shortly after deputies arrived on scene they joined RoyOMartin employees attempting to capture the suspects.
One suspect fled from an area where the all-terrain vehicle was parked crossing a levee then running towards railroad tracks.
Deputies and Roy O Martin employees searched the area but were unable to locate the suspects at that time.
Deputies seized a 2019 Honda Rancher with a cart containing various links of cooper and tools used to cut metal inside the cart.
Deputies continued to search the area and found a white 2006 Ford F-150 pickup truck pulling a utility trailer parked on Emmanuel Road just west of the plant occupied by one suspect identified as 32-year-old David P. Tarver of Campti, La.
Tarver, 32, of the 1500 block of Hart Road, Campti, La. was transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Principle to Theft.
During the investigation, deputies learned the other alleged suspect was 45-year-old Sammy D. Smith of Campti, La.
During an inventory of the vehicle, deputies discovered physical evidence leading them to believe both suspects were involved in the plot to steal copper from Roy O Martin.
Deputies stored the vehicle, utility trailer, ATV and cart for evidence.
Deputies had sufficient evidence and probable cause to obtain criminal warrants signed by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge for the arrest of Sam Smith.
During the course of a week period, Smith would call detectives and patrol deputies advising that he was going to turn himself in, however, he continued on the run.
Deputies also learned Smith had just been released from jail the week before and he had been arrested a couple of years prior in connection with the theft of copper from Roy O Martin Plywood Plant.
On Monday evening, August 19th, Winn Parish Sheriff Cranford Jordan contacted the NPSO reporting he had Smith suffering from poison ivy rash in custody.
Deputies traveled to Winn Parish and transported Smith back to Natchitoches Parish then transported to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center for his poison ivy rash, treated and released back into custody.
Sammy D. Smith, 45, of the 2300 block of Hwy 486, Campti was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Criminal Trespassing, Theft and Probation Violation.
Both Tarver and Smith remain in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.
Deputies say they believe both suspects traveled from the Campti area to the Martco Plywood Plant to steal copper items to sell at metal recycling centers for profit.
Deputies say the investigation is continuing into individuals that may have assisted or aided Smith while he was on the run from law enforcement.
Involved in arrests were: Sgt. M. Robertston, Deputy C. Olliff, Deputy D. Caballero, and Deputy T. Baptiste assisted by NPSO Criminal Investigations and Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies say Roy O Martin employees acted promptly and contacted the Sheriff’s Office when they observed suspious activity.