JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A thief caused more than $100,000 worth of damage at a Jonesboro company just to steal $100 worth of copper, police said earlier this month. Now, Jonesboro Crimestoppers is offering a $5,000 reward in connection with the July 9 theft.
Workers at Atlas Asphalt, 102 Bearden, reported Friday morning that sometime between 12:30 and 2:30 a.m. that day someone pulled copper wiring from the company's structures, damaging the property in the process.
According to the initial incident report, the suspect hooked a chain to a front loader, then connected the chain to the drum and bag house. Then, the suspect put the loader into reverse and began pulling wires from the structure.
Officer Jeremy Taggart reported seeing several wires ripped from the drum and laid across the gravel.
On the south side of the drum, he found tears in the metal as if the suspect drove into it.
The suspect also apparently used a larger front loader equipped with a chain to rip wire from the bag house. In the process, they damaged three motors that run the bag house and the blower connected to the drum.
The suspect apparently tipped the loader over trying to yank up the underground wiring and damaged gas lines, causing gas to spew out.
The incident report estimated the amount of damage at $107,000. It also stated about $100 worth of copper was stolen.
While searching the area, Officer Jeremy Taggart reported finding an electrician's knife and a Gatorade bottle. He also found tire tracks inside the plant.
Sgt. Chris Poe went to the scene and took photos of the tire tracks and damage, and attempted to get fingerprints. He also collected the knife, Gatorade bottle, and the chain attached to the loaders.
On July 26, Crimestoppers announced it was offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the theft.
Anonymous tips can be made by calling 870-935-STOP (7867) or by calling Sgt. Poe at 870-935-6710.
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