The Union Recorder

May 3, 2014

MPD releases video image of copper thief

Felicia Cummings
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Milledgeville Police released more details Friday on the investigation into copper thefts at the former Shaw Industries building.

Police are trying to identify the man seen in recently released video surveillance footage.

Until now, the suspect has remained unseen until the footage captured a shot of an unknown man in the process of the theft.

"We believe the suspect possibly to be a fair skinned black male, wearing coveralls rolled at the ankle," said Maj. Reginald Hill of MPD.

For months MPD has been investigating a rash of copper thefts at the building, located at 901 South Wayne St.

According to Hill, MPD criminal investigations commander, the thefts started late last year and have continued at random times throughout this year.  

"We have been actively working on several incidents where an unknown person has stolen copper wiring from inside and outside the location. The patrol division as well as the investigations division have equally worked hard in an attempt to solve the thefts," said Hill.  

In the most recent break-in, officers found a ladder standing upright toward the ceiling and multiple bundles of copper conduit wire. The two officers noticed right away that “a metal box overhead had been opened” and “copper wire cut from it,” according to the incident report.

Police saw no suspects, but upon closer inspection, discovered more bundles of wire near the rear back door.

In total, police collected 14 bundles of copper wire at the location, which was transferred into evidence.

Hill said an individual could make close to $8,000 selling that copper quantity. Stripped copper could run $3 per pound, according to a local recycling center. A foot weighs two or three pounds.

Hill encourages the public to pay close attention to the shoes worn by the man in the still shot from the surveillance footage.

Anyone who may recognize or have any information in reference to the burglary is asked to call Macon Regional Crime Stoppers at 478-742-2330 or 1-877-68CRIME, or the Milledgeville Police Department Tip Line at 478-414-4413.