Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Michaela Rutledge
Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School
A North Carolina man was recently arrested for stealing $9,200 worth of property from his employers, and trying to sell it online with no effort to cover his tracks.
Kirby Elkins, 27, and his girlfriend, Sarah Brody, 24, stole electrical equipment, a truck, and copper cable from Tate & Lyle in Mattoon. They then tried to sell $8,000 worth of the stolen items on eBay using Paypal accounts in Brody’s name.
Elkins has previously been charged with four larceny misdemeanors and seven other unrelated misdemeanors. All of these charges are from North Carolina, both Brody’s and Elkins’ home state. North Carolina authorities still have three active warrants out for Elkins’ arrest.
Before his arrest Elkins had been employed by Tate & Lyle. When the company discovered $8,000 worth of electrical equipment missing, Security Director Ed Smith told the Decatur Police Department that he believed Elkins was responsible. The burglary was reported to the DPD June 21.
Just three days after the initial burglary, Elkins returned to the plant and stole the truck and copper cable. He was arrested later that day, June 24, after the DPD found the missing truck abandoned near the CSX railroad tracks, and some of the copper cable hidden in a nearby ditch.
They found Elkins at a storage unit that was rented in both his and Brody’s name. The storage unit contained a large amount of the stolen copper cable, which was being stripped of its insulating sheathing.
Once in custody, Elkins admitted to police that Brody had helped him. Brody told police she dropped him off at a liquor store near Tate & Lyle about 3 a.m. June 24. She told police that she knew what his plan was, and that he was doing it to “get his last lick.”
The next day, June 25, Elkins admitted taking the missing electrical equipment from Tate & Lyle. Charges were added for the theft of those items after they were recovered from Elkins’ residence.
When interviewed, Brody told police although her name was used to set up the eBay and Paypal accounts, it was all Brody’s idea.
Brody did not attend her bond hearing because she said she felt ill.
Elkins is being held on $20,000 bond, and Brody is being held on $3,000 bond. Both are believed to be possible flight risks because of Elkins’ failure to appear in court in North Carolina, and because Illinois is not their home state.