Anne Arundel County police charged five men in connection with a series of copper and wire thefts at businesses, abandoned homes, county parks and schools, according to a police news release.
As the result of a multi-district investigation, police arrested Kenneth Dale Sanford, 30, of Baltimore, Christopher Bethurum, 23, George Andrew Poe, 28, of Randallstown, and Charles Daniel Sillaman, 25, and Robert Shanabrook, 31, of Pasadena, in connection with thefts in Glen Burnie and Pasadena, according to the news release.
Police said the men stole copper and wire from several businesses and a local elementary school, and that the thefts mostly occurred over the course of a “few months,” usually during overnight hours, resulting in thousands of dollars of loss.
“Copper thefts and other types of property crimes disrupt community activities, inconvenience business and residents and create public safety risks,” said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Larry W. Tolliver in the release. “Curtailing this type of activity takes committed investigators and a vigilant public.”
Using overnight surveillance tactics at specific locations, detectives followed several leads to determine possible suspects and also met with scrap metal dealers to make them aware of the thefts.
Detectives also met with Anne Arundel County Public Schools and the Department of Recreation and Parks to exchange information and make security recommendations, according to the release.
Using surveillance footage, police said investigators identified Sanford and Bethurum as two suspects who allegedly stole scrap metal from the JB Machine and Parts on Solley Road in Glen Burnie. Police arrested the two men and charged them in three separate cases, the release stated.
In addition, detectives spoke with witnesses who identified Poe and Sillaman as the men who allegedly stole wire from the Home Depot in Glen Burine on Aug. 15. Police said they arrested the two men the next day after the suspects tried to sell 148 pounds of wire at the Maryland Recycle in Glen Burnie.
Police arrested a fifth man, Shanabrook, in connection with several copper wire thefts from county light poles, after officers said they allegedly caught him attempting to steal wire from High Point Elementary in Pasadena. Police said Shanabrook resisted arrest, fled and allegedly assaulted an officer. Police used a stun gun to subdue him, according to the release.
Police also said they are actively searching for another suspect who was involved in the incident at High Point Elementary.
Anne Arundel County police spokesman Justin Mulcahy said the department hasn't concluded whether these suspects are connected to recent light pole thefts at local parks and other schools.
"We have not directly linked these suspects to the light pole thefts at parks/schools, but these types of thefts have stopped over the last month since the arrests have been made," Mulcahy said. "Our chief dedicated resources to combat these thefts as soon as he became aware of it. It was a priority for him."
Anyone with information on the above incidents is asked to call, email, or text Metro Crime Stoppers Hotline available 24-Hours A Day toll free at 1-866-7LOCKUP or Text “MCS plus your message” to CRIMES (274637). Those with information can also visit the Crime Stoppers website.