Pair charged with stealing 500 railroad spikes in Henderson County

Josh Boatwright
Citizen-Times
[Asheville, NC]
3/2/2010

FLAT ROCK — Henderson County Sheriff’s deputies caught two men pulling up hundreds of steel railroad spikes from a section of active train tracks near Flat Rock, Sheriff Rick Davis said.

A witness called 911 around 3:30 p.m. Sunday reporting suspicious activity on the tracks, which are owned by Norfolk Southern Railroad, near West Blue Ridge Road.

Deputies found Cruz Mario Carnacion, 37, and Jose Luis Trejo-Yanez in possession of more than 500 7-inch spikes, which weigh about a half-pound each and can be sold for scrap.

Davis called the pair’s actions “incredibly selfish,” saying the missing spikes could have caused a train to derail.

“We’ve never heard of it, we’ve never seen it where people are actually pulling up railroad spikes,” he said. “This act of theft could have easily had catastrophic consequences had a train derailed in this area.”

The pair pulled most of the spikes directly from the railroad ties, though some were lying loose along the tracks, Davis said.

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