Arrests Made In Theft, Damages Totaling Over $117,000 At St. Elmo Firm

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Patrick Blackstone
Patrick Blackstone

Arrests have been made in a case in which thieves broke into a St. Elmo industrial firm, then repeatedly returned to take more items. The total of the theft and the damages was $117,875.

Among those charged was Patrick Edward Blackstone, 30, of 3400 Gale Dr., East Ridge. He is charged with theft over $60,000, burglary, burglary of an auto and vandalism over $10,000.

Police said Robert Moore was also involved along with Ronald Keola, who lives at the Superior Creek Lodge in East Ridge.

The entire Aug. 3 incident at River City Industrial on Tennessee Avenue was caught on video.

Phillip Mantel, owner of the company, said the trio entered the business three separate times that day. He said the first time was 9:55 a.m. when they stole a 2006 Ford F150 pickup truck and a flatbed utility trailer along with tools and other items. They left in the stolen truck at 10:40 a.m.

The trio returned in the stolen truck shortly after noon. This time they stole a large air compressor from the loading dock along with a white Gladiator enclosed trailer. They left in 10 minutes.

They were back again at 8:15 p.m., again driving the stolen pickup truck. They are seen on the video moving around the property breaking into buildings. They used the company forklift to load stolen items onto the truck.

When they broke into the office, it set off an alarm. They then left, pulling a third stolen trailer - a car hauler.

Police said four buildings were broken into during the spree.

The thieves tried to take a 2008 Chevy truck and damaged the steering column while trying to make off with it.

Shortly after the trio left the property for the last time, they were involved in a crash in the stolen truck with the car hauler in LaFayette, Ga. Blackstone and Moore were arrested near the crash site.

Authorities said the next day that Moore confessed to the break-in at River City Industrial as well as to crimes committed in Georgia.

The black utility trailer was located at Superior Creek Lodge, where Keola lives in room 337. 

Ronald Keola
Ronald Keola

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