Police investigating copper and brass thefts

Police investigating copper and brass thefts

Two incidents of stolen copper and brass occurring in as many days have Martin police searching for who is responsible.
The first incident, which occurred Sunday, involved the theft of copper wire from a cell phone tower and the second incident, which occurred Monday, involved the theft of several copper and brass fittings from a General Supply warehouse in downtown Martin.
In each case, several thousand dollars worth of materials was stolen.
According to a report released by the Martin Police Department, Ptl. Aaron Gallimore was dispatched to 338-B Public Wells Road on Sunday afternoon in reference to an alleged vandalism of the Verizon Wireless® cell phone tower. The report stated Gallimore spoke with a complainant, Randy Connel, and Connel allegedly stated he worked for the Weakley County Municipal Electric Company (WCMES) and he had been notified of a power outage at the location.
According to the police report, Connel stated that upon his arrival, he noticed that someone had allegedly cut the lock on the front gate, made entry into the property and caused damage to electrical wiring inside.
The report stated that Gallimore contacted Verizon’s® site technician/complainant Gary Deeter and Deeter came to the location to inspect the damage.
According to the police report, Deeter advised the the person/persons responsible for the offense allegedly stole approximately four 50-foot lines of copper wiring that was used to run underground through conduit. The report stated that Deeter assessed the damage to be approximately $4,060.
The very next day, according to another report, Ptl. Chris Finch was dispatched to General Supply on 208 N. Lindell St. in reference to stolen merchandise. Upon his arrival, he talked to the complainant, David Harrison, and was advised to go to the warehouse building across the street and speak with Harrison’s son, Caleb.
According to the report, the younger Harrison stated he had approximately 80 pounds of Pro Press copper fittings, two-inch brass T fittings and numerous brass nipples stolen from the warehouse. These items were allegedly located in several plastic storage bins that were sitting on a shelf inside the warehouse. The approximate value of these items was stated to be around $3,000.
According to the report, Caleb Harrison advised that the burglary occurred sometime between May 12 and May 16. He also stated that “one or more” of the large bay doors at the rear of the warehouse were allegedly unsecured on Friday, May 13. The report stated that Caleb Harrison thinks that sometime Friday or Friday night is when the burglary occurred.
According to the report, David Harrison came to the warehouse on Saturday, May 14 and allegedly secured the rear doors, but the stolen items were not discovered to be missing at this time. The report stated that Caleb Harrison doe not have any idea as to the identity of the person/persons responsible for the buglary.
“With copper increasing in value, these burglars take the copper to scrapyards and are able to get a high dollar,” MPD Capt. Don Teal admitted. “We haven’t had any incidents like this until recently. A report came in from the Jackson News on the same thing. I don’t know if this is a group or an isolated occurrence, but at this time, we have nothing to link the two occurrences together.”
Both cases remain under investigation and have been forwarded to CID. 

wcp 5/19/11

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