An investigation into the disappearance of sandblasting and painting equipment has resulted in a felony charge against a Bloomfield man accused of selling the equipment when it wasn’t his to sell.
James Allen Picou, 43, Bloomfield, was booked in to the Greene County Jail on Monday, September 10, on a warrant issued on a preliminary charge of theft - where the value of the property is between $750 and $50,000, a Level 6 felony.
This case has been under investigation by Deputy Jordan Gooding of the Greene County Sheriff’s Department since August 20 when Gooding was assigned to look into a report of theft from property on County Road 70 East, Bloomfield.
Deputy Gooding first talked to Rob Ellis who said he had been in business with the father of James Picou and when his partner passed away, the business ceased to function and assets were divided. He claimed he got sand blasting and painting equipment and the son, James Picou, got the business building which was located on Picou’s property.
Gooding said Ellis told him that he continued to keep the equipment in Picou’s building and Picou had access to use it whenever he wanted. But Ellis alleged that he recently wanted to use the equipment and discovered it was gone, then he found out Picou had sold it.
According to Gooding, Ellis either wanted to be paid for the equipment or he wanted it back. He said the missing equipment included a Sullair 260 air compressor with an estimated value of $4-7,000, two sandblast pots worth approximately $1,500 each, one pick board worth $100, and one paint pot with hoses and guns worth $1,000.
Deputy Goodman reported that when he talked to Picou, he admitted he did sell the equipment to a business in Vincennes for $5,000. Picou said the equipment had been in his building for 3-4 years and he thought since it had been there for several years, he could sell it.
The deputy also reported that Picou said he felt bad about it and wanted to make it right, but he didn’t know when he would be able to pay Ellis or buy the equipment back. Gooding said he advised Picou to speak with Ellis.
When the results of Gooding’s investigation were submitted to the prosecutor’s office, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Keven McIntosh filed a criminal case against Picou and a warrant was issued for Picou’s arrest on September 6.
Picou’s bond was set at $4,000 surety with ten percent cash allowed. He was released on Tuesday, September 11, after posting $400 cash and will be scheduled to appear in Greene Superior Court for an initial hearing.