CHOPIN – Two men were recently arrested in connection with the theft of copper from RoyOMartin Plywood Plant in south Natchitoches Parish according to Natchitoches Sheriff Stuart Wright.

Sammy D. Smith, 48, of the 2300 block of La. Hwy 486, Campti, La. was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on Monday afternoon, May 16, charged with Felony Theft.

Elisha Jonas Barrow, 20, of Shasta Lake, California was also booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on Monday afternoon, charged with Felony Theft, Possession of CDS I Marijuana and Criminal Trespassing.

The investigation began on Monday morning, May 16, at approximately 9:33am, when supervisors with RoyOMartin Plywood Plant located in the 1600 block of La. Hwy 490 in Chopin contacted the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office reporting an individual trespassing on the property where copper wiring and other metal items are stored.

Deputies have investigated prior copper thefts at the plant.

Shortly after the complaint, a deputy working security and supervisors detained a male identified as Elisha Barrow trespassing on the property.

Sammy Smith was also found near the railroad tracks nearby and detained.

Additional deputies responded to assist including a NPSO detective.

As the investigation progressed, and while interviewing both suspects, detectives learned the vehicle a black 2008 Dodge Avenger bearing a California license plate, they were traveling in was parked on the Emmanuel Road near Chopin.

Deputies located the vehicle.

Deputies say while looking at the vehicle, they observed a small bag of suspected marijuana in plain view in the vehicle.

During a search of the vehicle, deputies discovered and seized the bag of suspected marijuana observed in plain view, and a large bundle of stripped gauge copper wire in the truck valued over $750.00 dollars.

A local towing service was contacted to store the vehicle.

Detectives returned to crime scene and recovered wire strippers and a large duffel bag.

Both suspects remain in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.

This is the third time, Smith has been arrested in connection with Copper thefts at RoyOMartin Plywood in the past couple of years.

Deputies say both suspects are not employees of the company.

The investigation is continuing.

If you have any information, contact Detective Amber Shirley at 357-7830.