St. George man accused of trying to sell 400 pounds of stolen metal, police say

Posted at 9:36 PM, Aug 11, 2015

ST. GEORGE, Utah – A St. George man is in jail accused of trying to sell more than 400 pounds of stolen metal.

On Friday, St. George police arrested 33-year-old Randolph Ronald Schmitz after Dixie Metal Recycling alerted them to a suspicious load. Police say the situation didn’t add up.

“He claims he found them in a dumpster,” said St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain. “We suspect that is not the case -- that he was taking them as they were placed around town.”

The road signs had a Wadsworth Brothers Construction mark on them. When officers contacted the company, they discovered the signs had likely been stolen.

Despain said it’s an issue they deal with frequently but good relationships with recycling centers help catch a lot of the suspects.

“They’re looking to make a quick buck,” said Dixie Metal Recycling office manager Kim Cluff. “A lot of them aren’t thinking clearly.”

Cluff said they keep careful records of who brings metal, that way if anything is suspicious, they call it in.

“They have to sign on the dotted line saying that they own the material, and they are allowed to be selling it,” Cluff said.

Police say that’s why it’s so important that people report things that are stolen, so they know to be on the lookout for recovery.

Schmitz was booked into the Washington County Jail and faces a felony charge of possession of stolen property.