Police nab 5 in Suspected Copper Theft Ring - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Police nab 5 in Suspected Copper Theft Ring

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NEWELLTON, La (KNOE 8 News) - 5 men are in custody as part of a suspected copper theft ring. They're accused of stripping multiple buildings in Tensas Parish, Madison Parish, and Warren County, Mississippi. One of the biggest buildings hit was the old Tensas Medical Center building. Police estimate the damage could be in the millions.

Newellton assistant police chief Rocco Furello called it one of the worst copper heists he has ever seen. "The Tensas Sheriff came up himself April 2nd and said there was a large quantity of copper turning up at local scrap yards and it was coming out of Tensas. So, we started looking around to see and this was the building it could have been and it was." says Furello. Three men were arrested the night of April 8th, and charged with crimes ranging from burglary, criminal damage, and running a theft ring.

Furello says based on what he saw, the building could be lost for good. "I don't believe the building could ever be repaired at this point, they ripped down all the sheetrock, they took every toilet valve out of the building, its utter chaos." added Furello. He says this arrest and the solid leads on the suspects still on the run makes a strong statement to deter thieves from trying this again. "If something happens in Tensas we're going to be here and we're going to track them down and bring them home where they belong so they can do their time." added Furello.

Police are still on the lookout for the two suspects in Mississippi. As for the old medical center, the Tensas Parish Police Jury will make an assessment of the damage, board it up, and determine if it has a future.
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