Police in Cornelius and Davidson are are investigating thefts of copper wire from local homes over the past week – a type of crime they say inevitably increases when copper prices rise. Meanwhile, Mecklenburg ABC law enforcement officials on Thursday gave details of an April 7 drug bust in the parking lot of the Cashion’s gas station at Statesville Road and West Catawba Avenue that resulted in charges against four men. Also below, the latest items from Cornelius police incident reports.
Davidson police are looking for a thief or thieves who took copper wire from two homes on James Ervin Way in the Summer’s Walk neighborhood sometime last the weekend. The wire was reported to be valued at $950, and windows were also damaged at one of the homes during the robbery.
Similar thefts were reported last Thursday, April 14, in Cornelius. Cornelius police said someone broke into two homes under construction in the Bailey’s Glen retirement development, off N.C. 115, and took copper wire valued at approximately $700 total.
Cornelius police say their records going back a decade indicate that copper theft is not a new phenomenon. In one 2001 incident, $5,800 in pipes and wire were taken from Energy United.
Cornelius Police Chief Bence Hoyle said Wednesday that copper thefts rise and fall with the market.
“As soon as the price per pound for copper goes up, so do the thefts,” Chief Hoye said. “We’ll probably start seeing more gas drive-offs soon, too, for the same reason.”
Copper is currently valued by the London Metal Exchange at $4.33 per pound, up about 18 percent over the past year.
A Mecklenburg County ABC officer’s sharp eye led to the arrest of four men on felony drug possession charges April 7 in the parking lot of the Cashions on U.S. 21. The officer, who happened to be on site at the ABC store, noticed “suspicious” activity in the adjacent parking lot and called Cornelius Police to the scene.
Police arrested four men on a felony charge of possession with intent to distribute and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia: Terry Frederick North, of Cornelius (a Cornelius-Lemley firefighter); Joseph James Rocheleau, of Huntersville, Lee Roy Shaird, of Charlotte and Gary Edward Mountcastle, of Charlotte. North, Rocheleau and Mountcastle were released on a secured bond of $5,000 for the felony charge and $500 for the misdemeanor. Shaird’s bond was set at the same amount, but release records were not available.
Here are selected items from incident reports issued by Cornelius Police Department in recent days:
MONDAY, APRIL 18, 10:05 a.m., Habitat for Humanity home site, 9900 block of Psalms St. – An Our Towns Habitat for Humanity employee reported someone stole a bundle of vinyl corner fence posts, valued at $90, from the site between April 14 and 18.
MONDAY, APRIL 18, 5:50 p.m., 18700 block of Ronceverte Drive – A resident reported a break-in sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the home. Missing were a Sony PlayStation, a stainless steel knife and a video game. Value of the items was put at $350.
TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 1 p.m., 17000 block of West Catawba Avenue – A 48-year-old resident told police she had been the victim of identity theft. She said that on March 1, an unknown suspect used her Social Security number and maiden name to charge a hospital bill to her credit card. The total loss was $11,281.
TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 6:30 p.m. – An Old Lyme Court resident came to police headquarters to report that someone made three unauthorized purchases with her credit car, totaling $200. A police report said the case is closed because the victim refused to cooperate.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 6:33 a.m., 21000 block of Sterling Bay East – A 30-year-old resident reported his 1999 red Honda Civic was stolen sometime between 11 a.m. Tuesday and 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. The car is valued at $5,000. Police are investigating.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 10:31 a.m., 18500 block of Victoria Bay Drive – A 58-year-old resident reported she was a victim of identity theft. She told police someone used her personal information to obtain $6,500 from her Discover credit line.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 4:56 p.m., Dunmore Drive – A resident called police with a tip about a drug violation. When they arrived, police found a 20-year-old man in possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested on a drug charge.