A Lexington man was arrested Friday after police said he tried to sell stolen construction tools back to the company from which he stole them.
Trey Courtney, 18, was charged with felony receiving stolen property and was lodged in the Fayette County jail. Police were looking for another man who ran from the construction site when police arrived, Lt. Brian Maynard said.
M&M Property Management construction workers were building houses on Sunflower Court, a new subdivision in the Polo Club Boulevard area, when two men approached them and asked if they wanted to buy some tools.
According to police and Dan McCullough, owner of M&M Property Management, the men had stolen the tools about 20 minutes earlier from the back of a pickup at another job site, about 4 miles away.
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"They were trying to sell us tools that they stole from one of my other jobs," McCullough said.
He said the theft happened from a job site off Winchester Road about 3:30 p.m. One of the men went inside to chat with construction workers while the other slipped tools out of the truck, he said.
After crews found the tools were missing, they called workers at Sunflower Court and warned them the men might be coming there.
When the men showed up and tried to sell the tools, construction workers held them while a worker from the first site drove over and verified that the tools in the back of the suspects' car were the ones stolen from the site off Winchester Road.
The workers called police, and within minutes, about 10 police cars showed up, McCullough said. He said several officers live in the Polo Club neighborhood and consider it "their back yard."
After one of the men took off running, police called in a helicopter to search for him, he said. Police have identified the man who fled, Maynard said, but he declined to release his name. Officers were still searching for him Friday night.
McCullough said he was suspicious of the men because he had seen one of them trying to sell tools at a job site about a week earlier.
"Once in a while, you'll get somebody selling a weed whacker or an air compressor," he said. "Kids showing up every day with different tools? That's unusual."
McCullough said he considers theft part of the cost of doing business. He said copper and tools have been stolen from his construction sites all over Central Kentucky.
Maynard said the men had about $2,000 worth of property, including "table saws and various bags of tools."
Construction firms from which tools have been stolen in the Polo Club area are asked to call police at (859) 258-3600 to see whether their tools were among the ones in the men's possession.