Suspects arrested for major copper theft - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Suspects arrested for major copper theft

June 14, 2007

Leesburg --  Six Turner County men are charged with stealing $150,000 worth of copper and selling it to recycling centers.

The gang stole a tractor trailer truck loaded with $39,000 pounds of copper in Leesburg. Tony Taylor,  his father 56-year old Eddie Lee Burgess,  cousin Freddick Burgess,  Ralph Harris,  Roosevelt Maddie,  and Quarnellius Newberry are charged with Racketeering and theft.

Investigators say on April 15th the gang stole the truck from the Hardee's parking lot in Leesburg. It was loaded with copper cathode,  which is sheets of the raw metal used to make wiring. The truck was taken to Eddie Burgess' junk yard in Ashburn where it was distributed.

From April 16th through May 19th,  the copper was sold in huge bundles at Southeastern Aluminum Recycling and Albany Recycling in Albany, and Fitzgerald Recycling in Fitzgerald. Investigators say the recycling plants suspected the metal was stolen but bought it anyway.  

"They were bringing hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds of this to recycling plants," said Dougherty D.A. Ken Hodges. The stolen truck was returned to Albany and parked in a truck stop where it was found April 27th.

The six men were indicted by the Dougherty Grand Jury yesterday and arrested today. All six are being held in the Dougherty County jail.

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