SPRING HOPE, N.C. (WNCN) – A months-long investigation into the theft of tens of thousands of dollars worth of tree removal equipment has led to the arrest of a Nash County man, deputies said.

The investigation began on Sept. 27 when deputies responded to several break-ins at Asplundh Tree Experts on South Old Franklin Road.

The Nash County Sheriff’s Office said $30,000 in equipment was stolen during the break-ins.

The investigation led deputies to a home in the 12200 block of Anderson Rd, Spring Hope. A search warrant was secured for the residence and deputies located some of the stolen equipment on the property, the sheriff’s office said.

“Investigators were able to recover numerous items that were stolen during this breaking or entering, including an Echo Weed Eater that was reported stolen by a business in Zebulon, NC in October,” the sheriff’s office said in a release.

Joshua Larry Diehl, 50, was arrested at the residence and later charged with:

  • 7 counts felony breaking and entering a motor vehicle
  • Felony larceny of motor vehicle parts
  • Injure property by obtaining nonferrous metals
  • Possess stolen goods
  • Possess marijuana up to 1/2 ounce

Diehl received a $50,000 secured bond and was booked into the Nash County Detention Facility.

has since made bond and been released.