JULY 2008

Police stop copper theft ring in South Carolina

Spartanburg, South Carolina, police arrested 13 people guilty of copper theft after a four month investigation.

More than 5 tons of metal was taken from residences and more than a dozen businesses, causing roughly $586,000 in damage.

The charges filed include burglary, larceny, malicious injury to real property and possession of stolen goods.

According to investigators, the thieves netted only $11,000 from metal recyclers.

An involved business owner stated he was surprised at what the criminals were willing to do to steal the copper.

“You wouldn’t think they’d go to the extent of climbing on top of your plant and destroying a 20-ton air conditioning unit,” said Donnie Griffin, the business owner.

Investigators reported that Mintz Scrap Iron and Metal bought a good amount of the copper. The owner is a Spartanburg County Councilman who said his business follows the law.