Investigators arrested a Beckville man earlier this month on a timber theft charge arising from Rusk County.

The Texas A&M Forest Service reported Wednesday that Anthony Laquinn Holman, 43, faces a charge of timber purchase as trustee with intent to defraud. Rusk County District Attorney Micheal Jimerson leveled the charge after Holman’s arrest July 2.

Holman was released on a $75,000 bond July 3 from Panola County Jail.

Forest Service Investigator Colton Covington urged residents to follow a few safeguarding rules to prevent timber theft.

Those included visiting property frequently or having a trusted person report any tree cutting in the owner’s absence. Buyers’ references always should be checked before entering a contract, and multiple bids are recommended before selling timber.

The Forest Service recommended clearly marking property lines, so cutting on a neighbor’s land doesn’t spill across, and using action-activated wildlife cameras to catch suspicious activity.

“Unfortunately, there are criminals out there who take advantage of landowners and steal valuable timber without the landowner’s knowledge,” Covington said. “With the guidance of a consultant forester, landowners can help avoid or deter theft from their logging operation.”

The Forest Service’s law enforcement division, working with local law enforcement, has recovered and returned nearly $289,000 to timber owners.