By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer
(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Salem man over the weekend on charges of receiving stolen goods.
42 year old Frank Eric Collins of Collins Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 3:16am Sunday.
A deputy with the Uniform Patrol Division observed a truck and trailer around 12:35am traveling down Flat Shoals Road with no lights on the trailer and the truck with a broken rear tail light. The deputy initiated a traffic stop in the 11000 block of North Highway 11. Upon the trailer was a tractor, which was a Kubota B7510 tractor, orange in color, with a loader.
Collins, the driver of the vehicle, was asked for his information by the deputy. As the deputy was walking back to his vehicle, he observed an identification mark common where serial numbers are on a tractor that appeared to have been removed, plus, the deputy noticed that the tractor did not have a key and the ignition switch had been punched. Collins had originally stated that the tractor belonged to his father.
As the course of the investigation continued, Collins’ story continued to be inconsistent in the course of his conversation with the deputy in terms of where he was going. what he was doing and how he came in possession of the property in question. The deputy, who was joined by other deputies on scene, was able to run the VIN number for the tractor and the tractor was reported in the National Crime Information Center as being stolen from Cherokee, North Carolina and was reported stolen on September 28th, 2014. Collins was then placed under arrest.
The tractor and trailer was towed per a request from Cherokee, North Carolina. Collins’ truck was towed as well due to an expired tag and no proof of insurance.
Collins was placed on a Temporary Custody Order until warrants were obtained Sunday on the receiving stolen goods charge. Collins was also charged in Uniform Traffic Tickets with having an expired tag and no proof of insurance.
Collins was released from the Detention Center earlier today. His surety bond amount had been set at $10,000.