MEIGS COUNTY, TN (WDEF) -- Law enforcement agencies from 6 counties are piecing-together evidence in what's believed to be the biggest theft ring in east Tennessee history.
The value of all the merchandise recovered may total half a million dollars.
EUGENE LANKFORD, CONTRACTOR "I got a call and told me to come and look..see whether any of my stuff was here. And? And we found just about all of my stuff here."
Eugene Lankford was building a house in Meigs county when thieves took all of his tools and building supplies several weeks ago. He never expected to see any of it again.
The case broke open with a tip from Madisonville police who got a picture of a suspect in the theft of a bobcat.
DET. SCOTT WEBB, MADISONVILLE "Sheriff Melton and uh..got an address and we pulled up here..and my stolen bobcat was sitting at the edge of the woods."
What the officers also found was a shock. The couple who lived here had barns and lean-tos filled with everything from tractors to electronic devices to refrigerators, coins, toys and even boats.
SHERIFF JACKIE MELTON, MEIGS COUNTY "Right now it looks like the inventory is going to bring anywhere from 200 to 500 thousand dollars..its going to be pretty good."
Held in the Meigs county jail is Michael Kirby and his Winter, both in their 30's.
They were arrested at the scene and charged with theft and burglary.
SHERIFF JOE GUY, MCMINN COUNTY "We found here these people were evidently stealing and fencing stolen property but also using some of the stolen property to kind of build their own little home down there."
Like officers in Polk, Bradley, Rhea and Monroe counties, Sheriff Guy says there have been numerous such thefts in McMinn county.
SHERIFF JOE GUY, MCMINN COUNTY "All of us work pretty well together..we stay in contact...I know Sheriff Melton and I have worked together on quite a few cases...that always helps that exchange of information."
Sheriff Melton says anyone who has had a major theft can call the Meigs county sheriff's office to see if their property was found at the Kirby's home.
He says the case is far from over.