South Carolina Forestry Commission
News Release

January 11, 2010

First Forestry Commission Timber Theft Arrest of 2010—A “Repeat Offender”

(Columbia,SC)–- Forestry Commission law enforcement officers spent the first part of the new year in a familiar manner to 2009, arresting William Jonathan “Joe” Tape for grand larceny. Joe Tape

Mr. Tape, 45, of Winnsboro, SC, has been arrested for stealing timber specifically between February and March of last year.  SCFC officers say Tape removed timber belonging to a land owner and sold it to a third party, depriving the owner of his proceeds from the sale.  The wood is valued between $10,000.00 and $12,000.00, possibly higher.  The crimes occurred in Chester and Chesterfield counties.  These charges are the result of an on-going SCFC investigation which reveals Mr. Tape stole timber repeatedly throughout the year.  This is his second arrest by SCFC officers, the first occurring on 10/07/09.  Mr. Tape currently sits in the Chester County Detention Center on $70,000.00 bond.

Other recent investigations by South Carolina Forestry Commission agents resulted in these arrests as well:

Aw it’s just a bunch of wood, right… ?

Actually, no.  Forestry and timber-related businesses constitute the number one manufacturing industry in South Carolina.  The South Carolina Forestry Commission is committed to protecting the Palmetto State’s public and private forest resources.  These crimes cost SC landowners millions of dollars each year.

To report a suspected case of timber theft, fraud, or arson, call the South Carolina Forestry Commission at (803) 896-8800.

This news release reports an arrest.  All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.




For more information, contact Scott Hawkins at the South Carolina Forestry Commission at (803) 896-8820



 The SC Forestry Commission’s mission is to protect and develop South Carolina’s forest resource.  For every $1.00 invested by SC in the Commission, the industry produces more than $1,300.00 of economic impact.


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