'They catch them gone and they break in;' Clay County deputies recover several stolen items

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MANCHESTER, Ky. (WYMT) - The Clay County Sheriff's Office is cracking down on several thefts in the area, some they feel are connected to drug-related matters.

Clay County Recycling workers, like Lewis Gray, say their property was stolen after employees went home Monday evening.

"You're talking at least $1,500 at least of what they got in just one night," Gray said.

Luckily, deputies recovered all that was taken. Every item was found under a tarp on a trailer connected to a nearby truck.

"[There were] wheels, tires, batteries, aluminum coils from air conditioners, copper, [and] some pieces of metal," Chief Deputy Clifton Jones said.

Dylan Collins, who police arrested Tuesday, told deputies he never stole a thing.

"[It's] kind of funny. If you didn't steal it, how did it get on the back of the truck and hauled all the way from Horse Creek to Highway 11?" Jones asked.

Collins said he was hauling the items for another guy but Clay County Recycling was never notified.

The day before Collins' arrest, police also got a call saying someone's car was stolen from their yard on Gregory Branch Road.

"There had been a fire up there on Jarvis Branch that same night," Jones said. "The fire department had gone up there and it was a vehicle."

The license plate found belonged to the car stolen that very night. Deputies say crime like this is usually a result of expensive habits, much like drug addiction.

"They're taking away from people, hard-working people. I mean, there are jobs for everyone. I mean, if you get out and work, there are jobs," Gray said.

Police want to remind travelers to never advertise when they leave. If needed, deputies can patrol homes and businesses left unattended.

To help investigate drug-related crimes, the Clay County Sheriff's Office plans to welcome a new K-9 member to their team.

They need help raising money to purchase a cage, temperature gauge, and a release system to accommodate Ghost's needs as he rides along on calls.

If interested in donating, call (606) 598-3471.