Copper Thieves Caught In Gadsden County

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UPDATE 9-19-13

The Gadsden County Sheriff's Office has charged three people in connection with more than a dozen copper wire thefts.

GCSO says three men are behind bars in connection with as many as 15 copper wire thefts within the county. Deputies arrested Jonathan Bostick, Torain Daniels and Don Cobbs. They face a number of charges including grand theft and burglary.

They could face additional charges in Jackson County where they're accused of trying to sell the wire.

"This was a major breakthrough for our sheriff's office and now we have a very good outcome," said CPT Jim Corder of GCSO. "We have three criminals in jail just where they belong."

St. John Elementary school was targeted just last week. Replacing the wire cost the school almost $25,000. The district plans to install security cameras to try and catch burglars if someone else tries a similar heist.

"Nothing is 100% but we do know that this will definitely deter a lot of our problems," said school safety director Bruce James.

Deputies say the three men might be connected to copper wire burglaries in Leon County and even more charges could be filed. Corder says the estimated damage in Gadsden County alone is near the $170,000 figure.

A fourth suspect is cooperating with GCSO and that person will face charges in connection to the burglaries.

By James Buechele
September 11, 2013

Quincy, FL - Superintendent Reginald James says this isn't the first time robbers have hit St. John Elementary. Now he's hoping word of the theft will help find these criminals.

"It's very frustrating to me as a superintendent as well as everybody else," said James.

Copper thieves hit the St. John elementary school in Gadsden County sometime after school let out Tuesday. Deputies believe the same people could be responsible for hitting this school as well as Gretna elementary six times within the last three months.

"We're talking about over $25,000 in the last three months."

The unit that powers the air conditioning to buildings two and four at St. John elementary was the one where wiring was stolen from. Officials at the school say the robbers stole more than 600' of copper wire costing the school district more than $3,800 in replacement wire for this job alone.

On a day where temperatures got above 90 degrees, many classes were combined into rooms that still had air conditioning .

"By them stealing the copper, we cannot have a normal educational day with out students."

Both deputies and school administrators believe that once the news gets out about the copper thieves, the criminals will be caught.

"It'll make'em know that we're vigilant, that we're watching these areas and we are going to checkout who's on campus," said Major Shawn Wood of the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office.

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