Locomotive robbed of horn Sunday night

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 2, 2008

An uncommon theft has occurred at the Canadian National Railway(CNR) marshaling yard in Brookhaven.

A three-part air horn with an estimated value of $2,000 wasunbolted and stolen from a parked locomotive that was under repairin the yard sometime during the night Sunday. CNR Special AgentWayne Barfield came to Brookhaven and went door to door in thePearlhaven community on Monday, asking residents if they had “seen,heard or smelled anything” in connection with the theft.

“We don’t think kids stole this horn, and we don’t think it wascarried to the scrap dealer,” Barfield said. “We feel like it wasprobably stolen by some type of professional truck driver for hisrig.”

Barfield said the triple horn was probably taken by a truckerbecause, outside of trains, trucks are about the only other type ofvehicle that can use the powerful horn.

“You’ve gotta have air pressure to blow these horns,” he said.”It takes about 100 pounds of pressure to make one blow – that’swhy I think it’s going to a big truck.”

Air horns are a common feature on 18-wheelers, and Barfieldadmits his investigation will be a tough one. He does, however,have help.

“The Brookhaven Police Department is involved in ourinvestigation,” Barfield said. “They’ll be helping us track thishorn down, hopefully, in case it turns up at a pawn shop or if theyhear any word about it in the community.”

Barfield said investigating the theft and burglary of railwayassets was a common duty for him.

“Any problems a city can have, we can have too,” he said. “Weget a good bit of vandalism, especially spray painting the sides ofcars and putting stuff on the tracks. And general theft is aproblem as well, because we transport a lot of stuff. Sometimespeople will knock out some windows and break into the railroadoffices.”

Even though general theft is a common problem for CNR, Barfieldsaid the targeting of specific parts was a strange occurrence.

“It wasn’t just lying around in the yard or anything, it wasbolted onto the engine,” he said. “Someone with a set of wrenchesand sockets went in there and unbolted it.”

Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said the theft of trainparts was uncommon, but not unheard of. He said the departmentwould handle the case like any theft, and he will assign an officerto the investigation this morning.

“We’ve only had this happen in Brookhaven once before, and itwas a long time ago,” he said. “But it has happened again, and wewill be investigating.”