Curtis Barton

A pair of Rolla man were arrested Tuesday after they were caught in the act of an attempted robbery – at the same property they had previously swiped items – east of Licking.

Lt. Melissa Dunn of the Texas County Sheriff’s Department said, Robert J. Karnes, 30, and Curtis Barton, 30, are each being held at the Texas County Jail. Bail was set at $150,000.

In a news release, Dunn said deputies were working alongside a couple from the Licking area to retrieve previously stolen items from a nearby recycling center. Multiple items –– farm implements and other items of scrap iron –– had been taken from the property during the past month.

When the couple returned home Tuesday, they saw Karnes and Barton in the woods behind their home. Dunn said the men were preparing to steal more items.

County deputies were assisted by the Licking Police Department in locating and arresting the men.

Dunn said authorities had located two stolen items and identified the suspect prior to Tuesday’s arrests. She said they were in the process of issuing a warrant.

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