Timber theft.

sloan sloan at livingston.net
Fri Jun 12 19:46:52 EST 1998


Don Staples wrote:
> 
> I have just finished a classic timber theft write up and thought the
> group might be interested in the history of a timber theft.
> 
> A woman in our town has been working over small tracts of land for the
> last several years.  Her classic method is to buy a tax office landowner
> list, and send solicitation letters out to everyone with ten acres are
> more, offering to buy  land, timber or both.  For the same period of
> time she has been ripping off land owners by underpaying, not paying, or
> singinga song about lost income from sorry timber and walking away after
> a token payment of far less than value cut, etc.
> 
> With news paper articles, land owner seminars, law enforcement, and
> foresters telling the world not to sell to some one using this ploy, she
> has been very successful.  Until last week.
> 
> I received a call Saturday, two weeks ago, to look at a ladies property
> for timber evaluation and a potential sale.  The following Monday I
> cruised the tract and came up with approximately $10,000.00 worth of
> timber on 12 acres.  Called the lady that evening and told her my
> findings.  She then told me that the timber pimp identified above had
> called her and offered her $6,700.00 for the land and timber.  In
> comparing my cruise with her offer, the lady said she would call the
> pimp and tell her to take a hike, and would have to talk to her kids
> about selling the timber and keeping the land.
> 
> Apparently she called the pimp that evening and severed any further
> discussion.
> 
> Two weeks pass, I received a call on a Thursday  that my loggers had
> trespassed from the 12 acres, cut a fence and interred the adjacent
> property of a friend of mine.  The friend was calling to eat my butt
> about the trespass, but was surprised to find that I was not responsible
> for the logging.  I drove to the site, found loggers on the tract
> (loggers I know) and asked what was up?  They told me that the timber
> pimp had bought the property and contracted for them to cut it.  I said
> stop all cutting and lock your equipment up where it stands, your
> trespassing.  I called the sheriff (to make my threat legal) and the
> land owner.  The land owner arrived 2 hours later, upset and mad.  She
> gave the sheriff a statement and he issued an arrest warrant for the
> pimp.
> 
> The pimp was arrested, jailed, posted bond, and said it was all a
> mistake, she had the land owners permission to cut the timber, since she
> was going to buy the property.  In Texas any kind of contract kicks it
> out of criminal and into civil court, which can take years, cost a
> bunch, the pimp would declare bankruptcy, and the land owner would be
> out the money and the timber.  Fortunately, there were witnesses to all
> conversations and the pimp did not succeed in her attempt to evade
> criminal prosecution.
> 
> A stump cruise of the tract indicated $12,000.00 had been cut before
> shut down.  Payment for one week of haul to mill had been shut down by
> the sheriff, so the lady will receive approximately 2/3’rds of her
> money, and hopes to recoup the rest through the courts.
> 
> This is a case where time and circumstances worked on the good guys
> side.
> --
> Don Staples
> UIN 4653335
> 
> My Ego Stroke:  http://www.livingston.net/dstaples/
Congratulations, Mr. Staples!!!  You were not in San Jacinto County
where no one gets prosecuted.  I'm assuming this was in Polk County.  I
hope the woman's name was Bobby T. (or was it Betty?).  These pimps are
making our work difficult.  Thanks for good work.   E-Mail at
Sloan at Livingston.net.  I would really like to know who finally got
busted.



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