Railroad damaged by thieves

Published 9:07 am Monday, April 15, 2013

WINTON – Two teens are both out on bond following their arrest for the theft and damage of NC-VA Railroad property.

Phaylen Remelo Pierce, 16, of 911 Ahoskie-Cofield Road, Ahoskie, and Jamal Tyree Sloan, 16, of 123 Bluefoot Road, Winton, were recently arrested  and charged with larceny, possession of stolen goods, and injury to real property. All of those charges are misdemeanors.

Both were initially jailed, each under a $5,000 secured bond, but have since been released until their court date.

The case against the teens began at 10 a.m. on April Fools Day. There, Hertford County Sheriff’s Captain Will Liverman was patrolling Bluefoot Road. He noted the crossing lights and warning bell were activated at the railroad crossing; however, there was no train in sight.

“Captain Liverman then noticed two males standing on the track a short distance away from the crossing,” said Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan. “As he began walking in their direction, he noted two nylon bags laying on the track and a similar bag on the back of one of the two young men. Captain Liverman said he could plainly see that those bags contained railroad spikes, wire and other various metal items.”

Liverman continued to investigate after making the arrests. Vaughan said Liverman contacted NC-VA Railroad Company officials and they assessed the damage at $5,000.

“The wire noted in one of the bags was actually what is used to activate the warning lights and bells at the crossing,” Vaughan said. “If the lights and bell could have been disabled and with the wire missing to cause those warning devices to activate when a train was approaching that crossing, someone could have gotten killed. This case had the potential to become deadly had it not been discovered so quickly by Captain Liverman. I commend him for his efforts.”

HCSO Sgt. John Joyner and Winton Police Officer Steve Mize assisted Liverman with the case.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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