A Dade City man was arrested Saturday and charged with stealing equipment and a section of track intended for a CSX railway, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office.
A witness told deputies she saw James Lee Huckabay Jr. steal pieces of railroad equipment, laying next to the existing track near Enterprise Road and Old Lakeland Highway in Dade City. The witness said he loaded the items into the back of her pickup as she was driving.
Deputies recovered seven stakes, six joint couplers, four tie plates, and a 3-foot section of the CSX railroad track, according to the arrest report.
The items were for use in an expansion project for the track, according to CSX spokeswoman Kristin Seay.
"None of the actual track in use was stolen, so it's not like they took scrap out of a rail line," Seay said. "They stole track off the side of the road. It was laying there because we're in the process of an expansion."
She said that type of theft is a common occurrence because the equipment must be laid out prior to the work starting.
"We do prosecute for theft and we prosecute for trespassing," Seay said.
Huckabay, 56, of 36724 St. Joe Road., was arrested and charged with interference with railroad track or equipment. Huckabay remains in the Land O' Lakes Jail with a $5,000 bond.