Police Arrest Five in Greenville Copper Thefts

WYFF is reporting that an anonymous tip led to the arrests of five people for a string of copper thefts in Greenville County. The five are believed to have been involved in “numerous” copper thefts around the county and were selling the metal to local scrap dealers.

From WYFF:

Investigators believe the five people charged in this case damaged air-conditioning units at area businesses for the valuable copper inside of them. The first crimes date back to September.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Matthew Armstrong said, “Once the units were stripped of their copper content, the copper was transported to area scrap metal dealers and sold for cash.”

Deputies arrested three of the people they were looking for earlier this month.

WSPA has more information on the copper theft ring:

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office charged Christina B. Merritt of Greenville, Shannon E. Garland of Piedmont, Harley R. Thomas of Greenville, Kenneth B. Taylor of Piedmont and Rocky S. Pennington. Deputies say they damaged a number of air conditioning units to obtain copper inside the machines.

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Merritt was booked in to the Greenville County Detention Center Friday and faces 11 counts each of grand larceny and malicious damage, plus one count of criminal conspiracy.  Merritt’s bond is set at just over $300,000.

Garland is thought to be in the Myrtle Beach area. He has been charged with 11 counts each of grand larceny and malicious damage, three counts of unlawful transportation of copper wire and one count of criminal conspiracy.

Thomas was booked into the Greenville County Detention Center on January 5th. He faces seven counts of unlawful transportation of copper wire, two counts of grand larceny and one count each of malicious damage and criminal conspiracy. Thomas’s bond is set at just over $120,000.

Taylor has an active warrant for Criminal Conspiracy, but deputies have not arrested him.

Pennington was taken into custody on January 5th for the charge of criminal conspiracy. He is currently out on bond.

It’s a safe bet that they were involved in the recent copper theft from the construction site of a Greenville area school.

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