A Bowling Green man who was arrested last year following an investigation into construction equipment reportedly stolen from multiple states has been indicted along with another man.
Douglas A. Burd, 57, was indicted Wednesday by a Warren County grand jury on five counts of receiving stolen property valued at $10,000 or more, a count of receiving stolen property valued at $500 or more but less than $10,000, two counts of obscuring the identity of a machine valued at $10,000 or more, seven counts of obscuring the identity of a machine valued at $500 or more but less than $10,000 and a count of fraudulent insurance acts valued at $10,000 or more.
The grand jury also indicted Paul Rocco Jr., 36, on a count of receiving stolen property valued at $10,000 or more and tampering with physical evidence.
According to court records, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office received information June 24 from a confidential informant who claimed that construction equipment reported stolen in Indiana could be found at an address for Burd.
“I was told that Doug Burd has two men that work for him installing AC units all over the country and they steal construction equipment and bring it to Doug Burd,” WCSO Detective Robert Smith said in an affidavit for a search warrant for Burd’s address.
Smith said in court records that he was provided a picture of a mini-excavator from the site that was reported stolen somewhere around Indianapolis, and was told that several other pieces of large equipment there were stolen.
Through additional investigation, Smith learned that the mini-excavator had been reported stolen June 20 from an Indiana lawn care business.
Smith received video surveillance footage of the theft that showed the mini-excavator being loaded onto a trailer being pulled by a blue Ford pickup truck with no bed, court records show.
The informant also claimed that an ATV stolen from the Western Kentucky University Farm, along with other stolen equipment, including a backhoe, two tractors and a skid-steer loader, could also be found at Burd’s address, the affidavit said.
Smith said the informant related to him that Burd’s employees load the stolen items onto a tractor trailer pulled by a blue Ford truck with no bed.
“I was informed that Doug Burd filed a stolen tractor report with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office a couple of years ago,” Smith said in the affidavit. “I was told the bill of sale he provided was forged and fake. Doug Burd took that report and filed a claim with his insurance and received approximately $50,000 for it.”
Smith was able to locate a WKU Police Department report for a theft of three ATVs, an 18-foot trailer, two leaf blowers, a chainsaw, weed trimmer, power washer and keys to three vehicles belonging to WKU.
Smith said he also located the 2019 report that Burd filed with the sheriff’s office regarding the stolen tractor, and through investigation appeared to confirm that the bill of sale Smith provided was forged.
Using the serial number for the tractor provided in the report, Smith learned that the tractor was sold in 2018 at a Utah dealership to a buyer, who when contacted by the sheriff’s office said he traded it in at another Utah business, which subsequently sold the tractor later that year.
“The tractor Doug Burd reported stolen from his property ... was in Utah at a business being purchased and sold,” Smith said in his affidavit, adding that he found no information on the person reported as being the seller on the bill of sale.
The indictment also accuses Burd of receiving stolen property from locations in Auburn, Franklin and Springfield, Tenn.
According to an arrest citation, deputies executing a search warrant at Burd’s address seized several pieces of equipment, some of which had the Vehicle Identification Number removed.
Burd declined to provide a statement and was arrested June 25, and a $50,000 cash bond was posted four days later, court records show.
An arraignment has been set for July 6 in Warren Circuit Court.