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Citizen unwittingly helped with theft?

By Seth Burkett · 340-2355

A man who claimed to have unwittingly helped a thief steal a tiller disc led authorities to the disc’s hiding place, Morgan County sheriff’s investigators said Monday.

Despite the arrest of the alleged thief, the “unnamed subject” who helped him remains under investigation “for a possible role in the crime,” said Sgt. John Bili of the Criminal Investigations Division.

The owner of the tiller disc dropped it off in the 900 block of Kayo Road at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday and left to fetch more equipment, Bili said. Thirty minutes later, the disc was gone.

Sheriff’s dispatchers soon received a call from a man who claimed to have overheard radio traffic about the stolen disc on a scanner, Bili said.

The caller told dispatchers he had just helped a man move a disc from the Kayo Road area and felt there was something fishy about it, Bili said. Deputies found the stolen disc two or three miles away in the area of Seibert Heritage Private Road.

Investigators arrested Jeff Randolph Demastus, 39, of 314 Austinville-Flint Road S.W. on a charge of first-degree theft later that day. Demastus was the man the caller claimed to have helped, Bili said. Morgan County Jail released Demastus on Saturday on $1,500 bond.

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