Lea County Sheriff ’s deputies arrested a Hobbs man for warrants charging him with larceny after he allegedly gained access into a “laydown yard” on Marathon Road and stole approximately 900 feet of copper wire valued at approximately $6,300.
Shad Wheeler, 47, was arrested on July 28 and charged with larceny over $2,500 under $20,000, a third-degree felony.
According to the sheriff’s report, on March 11, an employee with an oilfield business arrived at the “laydown yard” located on Marathon Road and noticed “a large spool of wire had been moved and stripped of its contents.”
A small “empty Nicotine vape cartridge” along with a roll of Teflon tape, a Coca-Cola can, large pliers and a small hacksaw were all found near the location where the wire was removed.
Deputies examining the yard with the help of an employee “found a set of fresh tire impressions leading from the west fence of the yard, which had been cut open,” the report states. “The tire tracks led into the yard and appeared to indicate one of the tires on the offender’s vehicle did not match the other three.”
According to the report, on March 11, deputies were asked to assist in “locating Shad Wheeler about an arrest warrant for Larceny and Receiving Stolen Property related to a theft from the (oilfield business ’) laydown yard off Marathon Road on Jan. 27.”
Deputies, while looking for Wheeler, went to a location he was known to frequent located on the 1200 block North Steven Drive, where they located a pickup truck in the alley of the home.
“A record check on the pickup which returned to Shad Wheeler,” the report states. “(Deputies) walked up to the pickup and noticed that it was still on/running. He (deputies) advised he (deputies) also observed copper wire in the bed of the pickup. He (deputies) advised he also noticed the tires on the pickup had a different front right tire which matched the information received in our department briefing of recent copper wire thefts.”
According to the report, deputies “observed in plain view a large amount of cable copper wire (matching) the description of the wire taken from the (oilfield business) site in the bed of the (truck). The tread pattern of the tires appears to be the same as the tire impressions (deputies) located at the (oilfield business’) yard.”
Deputies entered the residence on Steven Drive, finding a twin size day bed with a trundle and book shelve headboard in one of the bedrooms.
“The trundle was not pushed flush under the day bed,” the report states. “An attempt was made at pulling the trundle out from under the twin-size bed. After deputies were unable to pull the trundle bed out wholly, they pulled the twin-size bed frame away from the bookshelf headboard. Upon doing so they discovered a white male hiding under the hollow space of the bookshelf headboard.
A second individual believed to have been involved in the thefts was also found hiding in the home.
“Shad Wheeler stated ‘did you’ll find my buddy inside of the house?” (Deputies) asked him who his buddy was, and he stated ‘never mind,” the report states. “(Deputies) asked what his buddy’s name was and he said, ‘I just know him as a buddy, but I think he left when I went inside to get some water.”
Deputies conducted a second sweep of the home and found Tracey Westby hiding in a closet.
Shad Wheeler was being held in the Lea County Detention Center on no bond. He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing before Lovington Magistrate David Finger on Sept. 14.