Four Charged in Copper Wire Theft Ring in Franklin County

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) — After months of investigation authorities in eastern Missouri believe they’re busted a major copper theft ring.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Department say AT&T owned cables have been stolen from Gray Summit, Union, St. Clair, Lonedell, Anaconda, and Luebbering areas.

It’s been suspected, that the thieves have been cutting down the cable and burning the casing off prior to selling the remaining copper to recycling centers.

Some of the wire stolen is potentially considered “infrastructure” utilities, and is protected by Federal Regulations. Upon it being damaged and cut, services were phone service was interrupted to commercial facilities, such as banks and schools.

AT&T has estimated the damage and loss of property in the Gray Summit and Anaconda areas to exceed $140,000 dollars.

Ultimately four men have been arrested at this time. They have been formally charged with Felony Stealing and Felony Property Damage.

They are identified as:

  • Jeffrey E. Brown (32) St. Clair, Missouri
  • Bryan E. Osborn (23) St. Clair, Missouri
  • Kyle E. Pelton (39) St. Clair, Missouri
  • Walter J. Taylor (32) St. Clair, Missouri

copper theft

They are each currently being held on $35,000 cash only bond at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.

The investigation is on-going and additional arrests are possible. Anyone with information regarding wire or cable theft is asked to contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at 636-583-2567.


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