Copper thieves can't hide - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Copper thieves can't hide

May 6, 2008

Albany--  It's not easy to identify where stolen copper came from or who stole it but Dougherty County prosecutors say some crooks are sending a smoke signal they'll use to punish the thieves.

They're now prosecuting a man accused of stealing copper from a trailer back in November then burning the insulation off behind a home. Prosecutors discovered burning is covered under a felony illegal dumping statute.

They'll use that law to hand out stiffer punishment to copper thieves running rampant in the county.

"If you go to Southeastern Aluminum or Triple A or any of these recyclers and you sell wire, if it's insulated it sells for less. The thieves like to remove the insulation and the easiest way is to burn it. Under this statute, illegal dumping, we can prosecute that behavior now," said Dougherty County Assistant District Attorney Tommy Duck.

That crime could get thieves up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

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