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Author Topic: Copper Thief Caught!  (Read 427 times)

Offline Sean

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Copper Thief Caught!
« on: November 18, 2013, 08:53:20 PM »
Chico Police Department
11/16/13: Grand Theft, Possession Burglary Tools, Controlled Substance Arrest

Suspect: John Timothy McCrary (46 of Chico).
Previous Incidents: Since 2012 the Chico Police Department has been fielding calls of thefts of copper from air conditioning units around the Chico area. In the past year there have been well over 200 reported thefts. The suspects typically break open the panels of the air conditioning units and then rip out the copper contained inside so it can be sold for scrap. This usually results in the destruction of the unit requiring replacement. Typical replacement for a residential unit can be anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000
while large commercial units can be over $25,000. The typical scrap value of the copper in these air conditioning units ranges from $50 to $200 depending on the size of the unit.
Narrative: On 11/16/2013 at about 2350 hrs. The Chico Police Department received a tamper alarm from an air conditioning unit at 40 Philadelphia Drive in Chico. Officer Jamie Rouland responded to the area and arrived at scene at about 0002 hrs. As Officer Rouland was walking toward the back of the building where the air conditioner was located he encountered a subject dressed all in black walking from the area. That subject was later identified as John McCrary. McCrary was detained. After checking the area Officer Rouland found that the air conditioning unit that was alarmed had been vandalized. The back panel had been removed and damaged, and it appeared as if someone had been preparing to steal the copper from the air conditioning unit. McCrary was found to be in possession of burglary tools and methamphetamine. McCrary was arrested for the possession of burglary tools, possession of a controlled substance, and vandalism. He was transported to the Chico Police Department.
Chico P.D. Detectives responded to conduct a follow up investigation into the incident. During this investigation McCrary was tied to 149 air conditioning unit theft and vandalism calls many of which had multiple air conditioning units damaged or stolen. McCrary was booked into Butte County Jail on the
above listed charges.

Offline mike (mo)

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Re: Copper Thief Caught!
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 09:19:24 PM »
we need to bring back public hangings and floggings for these people

Offline Sean

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Re: Copper Thief Caught!
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 09:22:36 PM »
I am REALLY glad they got him.. many posts on the facebook page of the Chico PD saying "now find out who he sold to and go after them too".. 150 units at 2500 a pop is $375k in damages... I will be writing a letter to the DA when I return from my trip in a couple days.

Offline Steve-FL

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Re: Copper Thief Caught!
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 09:50:19 PM »
It's such a shame for this to happen when it can be avoided.  I took a bunch of metal to a local facility here several months ago.  Man, if you want to be a thug and remain anonymous around here, the last thing you want to do is sell metal.  They check ID after ID, you sign a statement and there are cameras everywhere.  And may the force be with you if you have copper, there's an extra gauntlet to run through to sell that stuff.

I would like to see them load the units up with a dye like substance that sprays when a line is broken.  I bet that would stop the fools once and for all.  Or at least brand em' for what they are for a few days.

Offline gevans

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Re: Copper Thief Caught!
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2013, 07:33:57 AM »
As Sean said, these guys would not be vandalizing units unless someone was buying.  There are only so many scrap metal dealers in driving range, you KNOW it's one (or more) of them.
I've worked with scrap metal and scrap dealers for years.  It's pretty simple to spot the crackhead who keeps selling coils.  They KNOW they are purchasing stolen goods, and help perpetuate these thefts. 
We need to prosecute the scrap dealer as a fence, not just the crackhead who does the stealing.
South Carolina!

Offline OrEGone

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Re: Copper Thief Caught!
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2013, 12:29:54 AM »
I just put in two new windows. I gave the old aluminum windows to the local metal hound. He said he got over $100 for the two of them.
PS. I also installed the carpet.

 

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