A preliminary hearing in the case of a stolen excavator was held in Winona City Court last Thursday.
Kevin Tharp, 43, of Hollandale is facing charges of grand larceny and false pretense in the case, and following testimony Thursday, Judge Alan D. Lancaster said he was binding the case over for consideration of a grand jury.
According to testimony of Jonathan McKay and Robbie Roberts, both employed with Winona Tractor, an excavator was rented by Tharp’s girlfriend for a construction job in Yazoo County. A credit card number was given over the telephone, and the excavator was delivered by Winona Tractor to the construction site in Vaughn.
When the excavator was not returned and the credit card number was found to be no good, McKay and Roberts said they began trying to track down Tharp and his girlfriend. When they finally reached Tharp’s girlfriend, she informed them the credit card had been stolen and was canceled. She said she would get them the number of the new card, but she never did.
Roberts said when he sent someone to pick up the machine, it was not found at the job site, and when he spoke with Tharp, he said Tharp alleged the machine was stolen.
“We have a credit card that is no good, and we don’t know where the machine is,” said Roberts.
According to Roberts, the value of the machine is approximately $7,000, and the amount of the rental (through court Thursday) is $17,595.
Mark Miller, an investigator for Ag Theft, testified that he is assisting on the case. He said he “opened a line of communication” with Tharp, and he “admitted getting the machine but did not admit to giving a bad credit card. He admitted using it, but it was stolen.”
Miller testified that the theft of the credit card and the excavator was not reported until after he spoke with Tharp and his girlfriend.
Public defender Lee Bailey questioned the jurisdiction of the case before the court, with the machine being delivered in Yazoo County and the credit card being given over the telephone.
“I will bind him over to the action of the grand jury, and I will let the [district attorney] determine jurisdiction,” Lancaster said.
Bond was set at $250,000.