BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio -- Belmont County authorities are cracking down on a suspected copper theft ring after several months of investigation.
Sheriff Dave Lucas said on Tuesday that a number of industrial locations around the county have been targeted by a rash of thefts since April. Lucas said that the criminals often take large spools of wire from power companies and construction sites, then try to sell them for scrap. AEP and South Central Power stations have been among the targeted sites.
Detectives have responded to thefts in Barnesville, St. Clairsville and Martins Ferry in just the last two months, and Sheriff Lucas said at least seven suspects will face charges. Other details were withheld.
Investigators are also working with the Belmont County Prosecutor to find better ways to enforce a recent law that makes it harder for thieves to sell stolen metal to dealers.