Two Franklin County residents have pleaded guilty to charges in relation to the theft of milk bottles from a local dairy operation.

Brandon A. Chitwood, 32, of Rocky Mount, pleaded guilty on Monday to a misdemeanor charge of petit larceny.

Berkeley K. Robertson, 31, of Moneta, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of grand larceny last week.

On April 6, 2018, members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call in the Burnt Chimney area. Personnel at Homestead Creamery claimed they had witnessed two individuals moving crates of empty milk bottles into a vehicle.

The car’s tag was run and found to belong to Chitwood.

According to court documents, the responding officer then “notified area Krogers in reference to the situation.”

The pair transported the bottles to a Kroger grocery store in Vinton and tried to remit the 138 bottles for a refund of $2 per bottle for a total of $276. An employee at the store notified the sheriff’s office.

The two were then detained and later confessed to the theft, the document says.

Because Chitwood had no prior charges, he was given a suspended sentence of 12 months on the condition of good behavior. Chitwood was also barred from returning to Homestead Creamery.

“He can be good for 12 months. He’s been good for 31 years, your honor,” Chitwood’s attorney said in court.

Robertson is still awaiting sentencing.

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