GILLETTE (WNE) — Charges against a 64-year-old Upton man are pending after he admitted to stealing two haul truck tires worth more than $50,000 from the Black Thunder mine near Wright in …
GILLETTE (WNE) — Charges against a 64-year-old Upton man are pending after he admitted to stealing two haul truck tires worth more than $50,000 from the Black Thunder mine near Wright in 2019.
Sheriff’s Investigator Josh Knittel said that on May 19, the mine called the sheriff’s office to report two haul truck tires had been stolen from the mine site between October 2019 and the beginning of 2020.
Big Horn Tires had received a call from a tire broker who said he had two tires for sale through the 64-year-old man, who was trying to sell them for $23,000, Knittel said. The deal had been finalized May 17, and the tire broker had arranged for the tires to be shipped to Big Horn Tires, which planned to sell them to Black Thunder.
When the truck arrived to pick the tires up, the 64-year-old figured out that they were headed to Gillette and he canceled the deal, Knittel said.
Black Thunder had conducted an audit of its tire inventory and learned that two were missing. The serial numbers on the missing tires matched the numbers on the tires the 64-year-old was trying to sell, Knittel said.
The man told investigators he was working at the mine’s tire department when he drove up to the mine one day with a semi-trailer, loaded up two new tires and left. He hung onto them for a while and tried to sell them back to the mine, Knittel said.
The tires, which are valued at $28,000 each, are on their way back to Black Thunder.