Sheriffs Department makes copper arrests

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

One major step has been taken to curb the recent rash of copper thefts in the region, and more may soon follow.

The Dallas County Sheriff&8217;s Department on Monday arrested Anthony Walker, 28, and Greg Murry, 34, both of Selma. After receiving calls earlier that day, deputies John Hatfield and Mike Granthum arrested the suspects and seized 100 pounds of copper wire.

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The investigation was done in conjunction with the sheriff&8217;s offices of Lowndes and Perry Counties.

Huffman said his department is looking at two more individuals, and also said he was certain more arrests would be made.

Walker and Murry made the thefts at sub-stations owned by Alabama Power and Pioneer Electric Cooperative. Both are being held on $70,000 bond.

Late last year, Alabama Power reported power outages that came as a direct result of copper thefts.

Mayors from around the region met in late January to decide ways to attack this problem, which seems to be growing rapidly. Phillip White of Uniontown, Bobby Bright of Montgomery and James Perkins Jr. of Selma all sat in on the meeting.

Recently, at a Montgomery Strategic Crime Committee meeting, officials from the state, county and city decided to take a three-pronged approach to the thefts. If someone is arrested and convicted in Montgomery, they&8217;ll go to jail for the first offense for 30 days; they&8217;ll spend 60 days in jail for the second offense and six months for the third offense.

Alabama is one of 20 states that has passed laws making it harder to scrap metal and that allow buyers to collect information on metal seller.