Juan Carlos Perez
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Ky. farm worker arrested for trying to flee country with tools

Items valued at more than $10,000

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CARROLLTON, Ky. - A longtime employee of Harris Farms was arrested this week after suspicions that he was stealing from the company were confirmed by one of the owners.

Juan Carlos Perez, 34, of 748 Tom Harris Road, Carrollton, was arrested and charged with theft by unlawful taking over $10,000. The charge is a Class C felony.

Heath Harris, co-owner of Harris Farms, went to see Perez because he was leaving the company after 13 years of employment to return to Mexico.

Harris told police that Perez was nervous when he was speaking to Harris and would not let him in the home. Harris was suspicious that Perez had been taking items from the business so he left the home but stayed on the property and watched Perez.

As he saw Perez loading tools into his truck and car, Harris called the Carroll County Sheriff's Office. Deputy Clay Cable, Kentucky State Police Trooper Jim Phelps and Carrollton Police Department Sgt. Rick Jackson all responded.

Perez was still loading the items when police arrived.

"Perez was loading things in his truck to go to Mexico," Cable said in a prepared statement.

The items included boxes full of tools, a cooler full of tools, a weed eater, a chainsaw, assorted hand tools and power tools, as well as cleaning supplies.

"He had accumulated these things between probably 18 months to two years. He would apparently take a few things each day," Cable said.

Police recovered a large amount of tools and impounded a 1997 Ford Ranger and a 2002 Ford Mustang convertible.

Perez was planning to drive the truck to Mexico while a friend would drive the car, police said. The other person was not charged and is not believed to be involved.

Perez is being held in the Carroll County Detention Center.

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