WELLSBURG - Two Beech Bottom men have been arrested for allegedly stealing thousands of pounds of copper wire from a local industry.
Chuck Jackson, Brooke County chief sheriff's deputy, confirmed Hans Douglas Fisher, 39, of RD 2, Beech Bottom, and Carl Joseph Falcon, 53, of 2 Blue Jay Way, Beech Bottom, have been charged with receiving and transferring stolen property, third-degree arson, conspiracy and trespassing.
The sheriff's department said an estimated 8,000 to 9,000 pounds of copper wire, identified as having been stolen from the Steubenville Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel plant, was recovered from the pair.
According to reports, the theft was discovered Thursday when local police and firefighters were dispatched to an area near Greens Run after a driver on Ohio Route 7 reported seeing what he believed to be a forest or structure fire in West Virginia.
According to reports, Cpl. Doug Mills of the sheriff's department found the men burning a pile of copper at the site in an attempt to remove the insulation.
Jackson said additional copper was recovered by Jackson and Sheriff's Deputy Kyler Ferguson the following night. He said Beech Bottom Police Chief Dan Casto also was involved in the investigation.
Jackson said additional charges are being considered by Ohio law enforcement as the investigation continues.
Fisher and Falcon are being held in the Northern Regional Jail in lieu of a $75,100 bond set in Brooke County Magistrate Court.
On Tuesday Brooke County Sheriff Richard Ferguson asked the Brooke County Commission to consider introducing an ordinance prohibiting the open burning of certain materials.
He said the burning of copper wire by thieves hoping to sell the stolen material has occurred before.
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