ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A Lee County man is charged with stealing copper plates from six Albany cell towers and is a suspect in thefts at nearly a dozen more towers in Lee, Worth, and Dougherty Counties.
Albany Police say 43-year old Joseph Stroud did more than $80,000 in damage to cell towers.
The sub-contractor worked for several cell phone companies.
Investigators say stole copper plates used to ground the towers during lightning strikes.
Stroud knew the codes to open the locks on the gates at the towers.
That's what led police to him.
Albany Police Detective Sgt. Edward Heath said "It had to be somebody who knew what they were doing because those towers have alarm systems on them. And he was familiar with which one of the bars had alarm systems on them, and the ones that did not."
Police traced stolen equipment to pawn shops, and the stolen copper to salvage yards.
Stroud is in the Dougherty County Jail as Lee and Worth County authorities continue their investigations.