10/03/07 — Neighbor charged in timber theft

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Neighbor charged in timber theft

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on October 3, 2007 2:12 PM

A Rosewood area man is accused of cutting down $250,000 worth of a neighbor's trees and selling some of the timber, authorities say.

Don Twiggs, 54, Howell Road, Goldsboro, is charged with obtaining property by false pretenses, Wayne County Sheriff's Capt. Tom Effler said.

Twiggs first came in contact with William Cotton, also of the Rosewood area, to ask if he could buy the timber, Effler said.

When Cotton told Twiggs he had plans to sell the timber to someone else, Twiggs found another method of getting it -- cutting down the trees on the 47-acre property himself, Effler said.

The sheriff's office got a call from Cotton on Sept. 1 that "someone was out on Old Smithfield Road, cutting up his timber."

Later, the sheriff's office got a complaint from Wilmington-based Corbett Timber Co., Effler said.

The company reported becoming suspicious that Twiggs did not have legal right to sell the unprocessed timber allegedly harvested from Cotton's property.

Effler said it wasn't currently clear how much lumber Twiggs sold to the company.

"Money was disbursed, but we can't tell you how much," the captain said.

The sheriff's office captain said the Wilmington-based company also faced hardship because of Twiggs' deception.

"Corbett Timber Co., they're also a victim of this thing in a way," Effler said.

He added he wasn't sure how Twiggs came in contact with the lumber company.

"He might have had a local contact," Effler said.

Although Twiggs was able to cull a large amount of timber from Cotton's property in the 2700 block of Old Smithfield Road, cutting ceased after Cotton's September complaint, the captain said.

But the 47-acre property was not stripped bare.

"He didn't cut all of it," Effler said.