A man who was convicted for his part in a huge theft ring in Onslow County was arrested Christmas Eve morning for breaking into a business and stealing thousands of dollars in chainsaws.
Carteret County deputies say neighbors helped nab Culley Fountain when he came knocking at their door asking for a shovel.
Deputies arrested the Richlands man for a business break-in and recovered 16 stolen chainsaws and a chop saw. The loot is valued at $6,000.
Lawmen responded to an alarm call around 4:50 a.m. to B&B Outdoor Power on Highway 70 in Newport.
Deputies say as they were responding, one patrol car passed Fountain's truck, who then thought he was being followed. They say the man ended up driving down a dead end road at a high rate of speed. The truck landed in a ditch after Fountain quickly stopped for a large gate across the road. They say his truck became stuck.
Deputies say he then began hiding the stolen chainsaws in the nearby woods, covering them with pine straw. Neighbors became suspicious and called authorities when they say the man came knocking at their doors asking for a shovel. Fountain was arrested at the entrance to the Carteret County Animal Shelter and the stolen goods recovered.
Inside his truck deputies say they also found a $3,000 pressure washer that was stolen from Forrest Farm Supply in Bayboro. He's in the Carteret County jail on a $10,000 bond.
Fountain was charged in 2007 for his part in a massive theft ring in Onslow County where more than $1 million worth of goods were recovered. He was convicted on eleven felony counts and given 60 months of probation.