Video cameras mounted at a tower in Etowah County, Ala., alerted 911 dispatchers to trespassers at the site, Nov. 19, leading to the arrest of two suspects allegedly in the act of stealing copper.
Earlier this year video cameras were installed at the tower, which hosts the county’s dispatch radio repeaters and had been hit by copper thieves five times in the last three years.
Copper worth $800 had been removed from the ground. The defendants were each charged with one count of second degree theft of property, possession of burglary tools and a misdemeanor count of second degree criminal trespassing. Dispatchers saw the break-in in real time on television monitors and alerted police officers who caught the suspects at the site.
Video surveillance was used by police in Columbiana, Ohio, on Oct. 7 to catch suspected copper thieves. In this case, however, the suspects were caught on camera pulling copper wire from an electrical substation in broad daylight.
After receiving a tip, police advised YESCO electrical to install the video cameras, which when activated by motion sensors sends an email of the image to the user.