Alleged burglar dug hole under electric fence to steal $50k in copper wire

Suspect's truck
Suspect's truck

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The Summerville Police Department is investigating a burglary after a business owner says someone stole over $50,000 worth of copper wire from his business.

Officers responded to Gregory Electric Company early Monday morning after the owner called police to report a burglary. According to police, the chain link fence outside the business had been cut and a hole had been dug underneath the electric fence. Two holes were also cut into the business.

The owner of the business told police that four trailers and five convex boxes had signs of forced entry and the locks had been cut. The owner reported that one spool of 500 MGM copper wire, three spools of three copper alt-wire and one spool of MCM500 bare copper wire were missing.

Each roll is estimated at $10,000 to $15,000 per spool, with an approximate combined value of $50,000.

After reviewing the surveillance video, officers observed a late 1990's two-door Dodge Ram backing into the rear of Gregory Electric Company just before midnight Sunday. The bed of the truck was empty upon arrival, but minutes later, when the truck was scene leaving, the truck bed was full of items.

According to a police report, it appears the suspects used the holes they dug under the electric fence to break into the business and steal the copper wire.

The same thing happened at Auto Salvage Company a few miles away in Ladson on Feb. 28.

"Basically, they dug a hole under the fence, cut a hole big enough to drive a cart through in the side of our building, loaded up a cart, and transferred the material to their cars under the fence," says owner Michael Baston.

Baston says the thieves took over $15,000 worth of copper and catalytic converters, worth about $90 a piece. The Berkeley County Sheriffs Office is investigating that incident.

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