Over the past few months, the Anne Arundel County Police Department has been investigating numerous incidents of copper thefts and wire thefts throughout Anne Arundel County. Suspects have been specifically targeting electric, copper wire at businesses, abandoned homes and county parks and schools. In some cases, suspects took wire from light poles at area athletic fields and schools during overnight hours. These crimes resulted in thousands of dollars of loss.
Consequently, the Police Department conducted a multi-district investigation consisting of focusing resources into specific areas for overnight surveillance. Throughout the investigation, detectives from several districts exchanged intelligence, followed up on several leads, conducted numerous interviews and developed persons of interest in some of these cases. Additionally, detectives worked closely with area scrap metal dealers to make them cognizant of the problem, and detectives contacted representatives from the Anne Arundel County Public Schools and Department of Recreation and Parks in an effort to exchange information and make security recommendations.
During the course of the investigation, with assistance from surveillance footage, detectives identified two suspects involved in metal thefts and subsequent scrapping of metal taken from the JB Machine and Parts located in the 7900 block of Solley Road in Glen Burnie. Both suspects, Kenneth Dale Sanford, 30, of 1331 Pontiac Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland, and Christopher Bethurum, 23, were arrested and charged for their involvement in three cases. Aside from those suspects, George Andrew Poe, 28, of 4117 Hupa Place, Randallstown, Maryland, and Charles Daniel Sillaman, 25, were identified by witnesses, later arrested and charged with theft for stealing wire on August 15, 2012, from the Home Depot store located in the unit block of Mountain Road in Pasadena. The suspects were arrested the next day after attempting to sell 148 pounds of wire at the Maryland Recycle in Glen Burnie.
Detectives also identified a person of interest in numerous thefts of copper wire from County light poles. On August 17, 2012, at approximately 4:23 a.m., a suspect identified as Robert Shanabrook, 31, of 3494 Old Crown Drive in Pasadena, Maryland, was caught attempting to steal wire from High Point Elementary School located in the 900 block of Duvall Highway in Pasadena. During that incident, the suspect resisted arrest, fled from officers and assaulted officers, who had to subdue the suspect by deploying a Taser. In addition, detectives are actively attempting to locate a second suspect from that incident, who has since been identified.
“Copper thefts and other types of property crimes disrupt community activities, inconvenience business and residents and create public safety risks, “said Chief of Police Larry W. Tolliver. “Curtailing this type of activity takes committed investigators and a vigilant public. I commend the efforts of the officers who worked tirelessly to close out these cases.”