4 men charged in Franklin County copper theft ring


by KMOV.com Staff


Posted on March 5, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 6 at 11:22 AM

WASHINGTON, Mo. -- Authorities in Washington County believe they busted a major copper theft ring after arresting four men from St. Clair. 

On March 1, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department arrested four men suspected of stealing AT&T phone cables over several months. Authorities say they were selling the copper for scrap.

Jeffery Brown, 32, Bryan Osborn, 23, Kyle Pelton, 39, and Walter Taylor, 32, were charged with felony stealing and felony property damage for their involvement in stealing several thousand feet of AT & T owned cable. 

The copper was stolen from cable lines in the Grey Summit, Union, St. Clair, Londell, Anaconda and Luebbering areas.  AT & T reports the thefts disrupted phone service and caused approxametly $140,000 in damage.

Franklin County deputies received information that led them to a suspect’s residence in the 1300 block of High Acres Drive in St. Clair on Friday.

Upon arrival deputies spotted two suspects in the process of burning the casing off portions of  stolen wire.

The suspects ran into the home, attempting to evade the deputies before officers detained the suspects.

Authorities traveled to several other homes before taking all four suspects and additional evidence into custody.  

The suspects are being held on $35,000 cash only bond, at the Franklin County Detention Office.

The investigation into this copper theft ring is ongoing and additional arrests are possible.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information regarding wire or cable theft to call (636) 583-2567.