Weatherford Democrat

Top News

January 15, 2013

Suspects charged in one of several recent radio tower thefts

 

By CHRISTIN COYNE

ccoyne@weatherforddemocrat.com

Three people suspected of stealing copper wire from a communications tower north of Weatherford Friday were reportedly caught in the act by a witness, who provided information that helped lead to their arrest, according to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office. 

A caller reported a theft in progress in the 11000 block of Old Agnes Road around 1:30 p.m. and provided a description of the suspects and vehicle, according to the arresting deputy’s probable cause affidavit. 

The witness reportedly told police he saw a man and two woman taking property from an AT&T radio tower site moments earlier and loading it into a truck.  

Minutes later, Parker County Deputy Evan Cox spotted an older model Ford Ranger with a bed full of scrap metal traveling westbound on State Highway 199 and initiated a traffic stop, according to Cox. 

The driver, 34-year-old Joseph Verlyn Guthrie, stated that he and his two friends had borrowed the truck from a friend and was scrapping metal from various locations in Parker County. 

The deputy reportedly located more than $50 and less than $500 worth of scrap metal in the truck, along with a chest freezer, a table saw and a strand of sheathed copper wire in the bed, according to the sheriff’s office.

Guthrie later told investigators that he took items from the radio tower site, the sheriff’s office reported.  

All three suspects in the vehicle - Guthrie, 23-year-old Christine Smiddy and 17-year-old Summer McDonald, all of Springtown - were arrested and charged with theft of property and felony theft of metal, less than $20,000.

Sheriff’s records indicate communication tower sites have been hit at least three times by metal thieves within the past couple weeks. 

On Jan. 3, a Verizon employee reported that a tower site in the 2700 block of Cattlebaron Drive suffered a power outage after copper wiring was removed from a meter box to the building. It was not clear whether the theft Friday caused an outage. 

Another theft of copper wire from the same Verizon tower was reported on Jan. 6, sheriff’s office records indicate. Similar copper wire thefts were also reported at other types of locations around the county, including from drilling sites and residences, during the past month, according to sheriff’s office reports. 

 

1
Text Only
Top News
Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results