Copper thief caught red-handed

Stephens County_ Sheriff Jimmie Bruner says they caught a man stealing copper from an electrical substation east of Comanche.  Officers went to the scene of this unusual crime after getting a call that the alarm had gone off at the Western Farmers Electrical Company.  Sheriff Bruner says the officers noticed a suspicious car and there, they say, they found James Dale Brown stripping copper from an electrical station.

The going rate for scrap copper at a Duncan metal shop is around $2-$2.50 per pound and, in Oklahoma City the rate is also under $3 per pound.  Investigators say Brown had about 300 pounds of copper, so he could have netted around $600 for his work.

"Our copper theft is taken very seriously because it's expensive and it's a critical item, especially dealing with transformers, oil fields, anything electrical that powers homes.  When copper wire theft occurs, it primarily shuts an area down,"  Sheriff Bruner said.

Bruner says they expect to make more arrests in this copper theft case by the end of the week.