Pepco and copper are at the center of a large theft. Police have arrested Andrew Price of Suitland after they say he stole about $10,000 worth of copper wire.
Pepco customers wonder how over a ton of copper could be stolen.
Price, 50, is charged with several counts of breaking and entering and theft. Police believe he went to a Pepco property near Pennsylvania Avenue at least eight times in May.
Price allegedly would first back his truck up to the fence, climb the barbed wire fence, and make off with thousands of pounds of copper wire. Police say over seven or eight visits, in what must have taken a lot of time, Price chucked all the wire over the fence, got in his truck, and drove away.
“He was cutting the wire into small manageable sections and then throwing it over the fence,” says Prince George’s County Police Lt. Mike Smith.
Smith says Pepco didn’t report the thefts until several had already happened.
Police later used surveillance video that captured a license plate belonging to Price. They then found he’d been selling the copper to a place that had checked his ID.
Police have been battling copper theft for years now.
“They’ll go into those houses and they’ll tear the walls down just to get some copper.”
“It’s not like electronics where it’s easy to trace with a serial number. It’s very difficult to trace without some sort of evidence. In this case it was video.”