(Burlington, Ky.) - A new task force with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department focusing on metal thefts has made a successful bust.
“The four man squad has identified over 130 instances in the last six months of metal thefts mainly copper from churches, businesses, colleges, homes under construction, barns, cellular phone towers, and catalytic converters from vehicles,” Sheriff’s Department spokesman Tom Scheben said.
One such theft occurred at about 2:15 Monday morning when two Bromley, Kentucky men were caught taking air conditioning units from Spartan Construction on Distribution Drive in Burlington.
As the suspects left the business with the two units, police took them into custody.
Russell Padgett, 47, and Matthew Hibbard, 19, have each been charged with Criminal Mischief 1st degree and Theft by unlawful taking (in excess of $10,000).
Detectives also tied Padgett and Hibbard to another AC unit theft at the same business from last week.
Two men were seen taking two air conditioner units at Spartan Construction on Distribution Drive in Burlington Monday morning.
“Thieves are completely destroying, for instance, a $10,000 air conditioner at a church for $50 to $100 they’ll receive at the scrap yard,” said Scheben.
Scheben said the thieves commit the acts in order to feed their drug addictions, mainly heroin.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Department asks anyone with information on metal thefts to call their tip line at (859) 334-3500 or Crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040. Email tips can be sent to email@example.com.