Pair arrested for stealing copper from Charlestown State Park - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Pair arrested for stealing copper from Charlestown State Park

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CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (WDRB) -- Charlestown State Park has become a frequent victim of copper theft, according to Indiana conservation officers.

Authorities say Tyler Broy, 24, and Richard Ferree Jr., 40, are the most recent criminals to steal copper from Charlestown State Park.

Along with help from the Clark County Sheriff's office, conservation officers arrested the two men early Saturday after they were allegedly caught stripping utility wire inside the park.

Authorities were tipped off to the alleged thieves when park maintenance workers discovered tools hidden in the woods. The discovery prompted officers to stake out the area over the weekend, hoping the thieves would come back. Around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, officers say the men used the tools to scale a utility pole.

"Our officers watched these guys begin to cut and strip the copper wires from the poles and then that's when they identified themselves," said Indiana Conservation Officer Jim Schreck. "It worked out for us that these guys were 30 feet up a pole with no where to run...we got them down and were able to take them into custody."

Schreck said scrap metal thefts have been a big problem at Charlestown State Park because of the old ammunition plant nearby. He said thieves will steal whatever they can salvage from the old buildings, while the disconnected utility lines coming from the plant are frequently stripped for their copper.

Schreck said not only are they on the lookout for thieves, but he warns that some utility lines are still active, and pose a fatal threat to thieves.

"Conservation officers, sheriff's deputies, and local agencies are definitely watching this area in case anyone else is getting any ideas to make a quick dollar," he said. "It's very dangerous and it's probably going to land you in jail--if not dead."

Broy and Ferree were charged with theft and criminal trespassing. Ferree was also charged with possession of a controlled substance, after officers say they found prescription pills on him. Officers also say Broy had four active warrants at the time of his arrest.

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