More copper thefts reported

Published 2:17 pm Friday, February 10, 2012

This picture, courtesy of the Decatur County Sheriff's Office, shows the damage that can be done when thieves strip copper wiring from an air conditioning unit.

Several more incidents of thieves taking copper wiring were reported in the past week.

Copper wiring is sought by thieves because, depending on its condition, the scrap metal can be recycled for $2 to $3 per pound.

On Monday, Feb. 6, a resident of Clarke Street in downtown Bainbridge reported that someone had cut a bundle of copper-coated ground wire that had been attached to a power pole.

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Cpl. Marvin Knight checked around for more damage and found that several more power poles in the downtown area had been similarly damaged. An employee of Georgia Power told Knight that the cutting of copper wiring from utility poles was an ongoing problem.

Also on Monday, the owner of a rental property in the 600 block of Calhoun Street reported copper wiring had been stripped out of the home’s air conditioning units.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, a resident of the 1000 block of Bethel Road reported a shed had been broken into. An air conditioning unit and two cast iron sinks were taken.

On Jan. 30, the owner of a residence on the 700 block of Rose Circle reported that an air conditioning unit had been stolen. The owner stated some wires had been cut and outside power switches had been turned off.

Anyone with more information about copper-wire thefts is asked to call the Bainbridge Public Safety Investigation office at (229) 248-2044 or the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office at (229) 248-3044.


Another arrest made in meth lab case

The Decatur County Sheriff’s Office has made another arrest related to the discovery of a methamphetamine lab last November.

On the night of Nov. 12, 2011, Capt. Chip Nix and Investigator Brian Donalson responded to 138 Deer Trail Road, located off U.S. 27 South, a couple miles south of Bainbridge.

After finding a makeshift meth lab in the back yard of the residence, the deputies arrested Melvin Keith Cloud, 43, of 138 Deer Trail Road, Bainbridge, and charged him with manufacturing meth and possession of meth.

Nearby, a fire was burning in the yard, something investigators commonly find when they discover a meth lab, Nix said. The fire is typically used to get rid of the packaging associated with meth-making ingredients, which includes everything from pill blister packs to stripped lithium batteries.

On Thursday evening, deputies arrested Joshua Brian Buckhaulter, 26, of 201 Hales Landing Road, Bainbridge, and charged him with manufacture of meth and possession of meth.

According to Capt. Nix, Buckhaulter had been present at the Deer Trail Road address when deputies arrested Cloud, who had admitted to making meth at the time. Investigators found Buckhaulter’s fingerprints on some of the evidence taken from the meth lab and subsequently filed warrants for his arrest, Nix said.