SOUTH BRUNSWICK: Authorities arrested a township woman on Tuesday in connection with the theft of $15,000 in copper wire from a PSEG substation.
Mary Miller, 42, was arrested and charged with theft and criminal mischief.
Police detective Jim Ryan said a witness spotted Miller and an unidentified second individual back their vehicle up to the PSEG substation on Stouts Lane.
The pair got out of the car, cut a chain, then cut the ground wire and pulled the 50-pound wire out of the ground.
An investigation by detective Ron Seaman linked the two suspects to selling the stolen copper at Trenton Iron and Metal on Friday. Employees at Trenton Iron and Metal said they have been alert to stolen copper recently because of the rise in price.
"The employees realized the transaction seemed unusual and took note of the suspects," Seaman said.
Miller was arrested at her home on Tuesday. She was charged with theft, criminal mischief and criminal trespass. She was released on her own recognizance after her arraignment.
Police are actively seeking the second individual.
[This message has been edited by LK (edited 11-30-2006).]
I think the real answer is to dry up the market for stolen wire. If the scrap dealers started seeing more police scrutiny and a couple "receiving stolen property" charges they would reject suspicious looking piles of copper.