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Two Accused Of Oil Field Theft

On Aug 5, 2022, employees of Arcadia Operating LLC, a petroleum production company, reported an oil field theft to the Titus County Sheriff’s Office. It occurred off Farm to Market Highway 71 between the Maple Springs and Sugarhill Communities in Titus County.

During the theft, the suspects caused substantial damage to a large spool of a heavy electrical cable comprised partly of copper. Theft of any amount of copper in Texas is a felony, but as is often the case, the damage caused by copper thieves can be extensive.

Arcadia Employees and Titus County Sheriff’s Investigators began efforts to identify who was responsible. Additionally, they took steps to determine whether the suspects should return for more of the material.

Surveillance efforts paid off a night later when two men returned to continue the theft, driving a Black Toyota pickup and pulling a trailer. At that time, the suspects cut off another load of the electrical cable from the spool, but at least investigators had a few leads to go on.
While a license plate wasn’t available, the black Toyota had numerous unique points of identification. As a result, investigators felt sure they would recognize the vehicle if they saw it.

It wasn’t until Tuesday, Sept 27, that an investigator observed what he believed to be the same black Toyota pickup traveling east on Highway 49 and conducted an investigative stop on the vehicle. A comparison of available information about the suspect vehicle and the one stopped that day confirmed that it was the exact vehicle.

James Edward McFadden Jr., the vehicle’s driver, was arrested on a minor traffic violation as the investigation intensified. Although they felt that McFadden, 57, of Franklin County, was one of the two men known to have committed the theft, they also placed him under arrest for Criminal Mischief resulting in damages equal to or greater than $30,000 but less than $300,000, a Third Degree Felony.

The other suspect was Wayne Alan Cox, 50, Franklin County. Initial efforts to locate Cox were unsuccessful. Finally, investigators obtained Cox’s arrest warrant for the Third-Degree Felony Offense of Criminal Mischief, resulting in damages equal to or greater than $30,000 but less than $300,000.

Titus County Sheriff’s Office asks that anyone with information about Wayne Cox’s whereabouts contact the Franklin or Titus County Sheriff’s Office.

Nationwide, illegal copper thefts almost always result in significant financial loss from the damages left in their wake. Therefore, Titus County Sheriff’s Office intends to keep holding those identified and responsible for the highest possible offenses committed during these thefts.