Reported stolen was a 2004 Kobelco excavator. Helson said he obtained videos from the red light camera at the intersection of Belvedere and Nashville Pike near Greenlea and saw a Ford Excursion towing an empty trailer. He continued watching the video and saw the same vehicle towing the excavator that had been reported stolen. The victim viewed the video and identified the excavator as belonging to him.
Authorities did not know the identity of the suspects at that point but did have their vehicle.
Authorities responded to another construction site on Harris Drive in Gallatin on Oct. 20 where a complainant reportedly observed a Ford Excursion with an empty trailer.
Helson said that the complainant has had several pieces of heavy construction equipment stolen during the past three months and that he also saw that the Excursion did not have a license plate that was visible. The complainant also said that when the driver of the vehicle saw him, he reportedly sped away.
Later that night, about 9:15, Gallatin Officer Jessie Leath saw the Excursion at the new construction site where Helson had earlier met the complainant. Leath said he saw a second man standing outside of the Excursion and also noticed that a piece of equipment was running at that hour.
The complainant was contacted and told authorities that keys were never left in any of the construction equipment at night.
Helson said in the affidavit that the driver of the Excursion, Boykin, agreed to a search of the vehicle and two sets of heavy equipment keys were allegedly found in the center console. In addition, Ricketts allegedly had 14 equipment keys in his pocket that belonged to different types of equipment.
Photos of the Excursion that were caught on video from the red light camera in July were shown to the complainant. The first photo was of the Excursion towing an empty trailer. The complainant told police that his truck, Helson wrote, adding that the second photo was of the Excursion towing the excavator that had been reported stolen.
The complainant was not sure it was his vehicle, but authorities said the photos were from the same time at night and same red light camera.
Also, the trailer used in the thefts of the heavy equipment was also reportedly stolen from Hendersonville in February 2007.
Another incident has also been reported in the course of the investigation involving a Knoxville company called Powell Auction and Realty. The company was reported to be in possession of an allegedly stolen skid loader, Helson wrote in another affidavit. The skid load was reported stolen from a Nashville Pike construction site near Walmart in Gallatin on Oct. 15.
Helson spoke to an employee, and according to the records, Boykin sold the skid loader on Oct. 18 for $13,000.
Gallatin authorities credit the red light camera for breaking the case.