People are finding pipes and wire from their basements and air conditioning systems cut and missing.
This weekend, a Portsmouth man was taken into custody for theft of copper wire from property belonging to Norfolk Southern Railway in Portsmouth.
Jeremy G. Skaggs, 33, of 1024 20th St., was sentenced to 30 days in Scioto County Jail on a charge of petty theft, after Portsmouth police and a special agent from NS reportedly caught Skaggs with a load of cut copper wire and criminal tools in the back of a Jeep Cherokee he was driving.
Officers were called with a report someone was stealing copper from a pole on River Road, south of the NS east yards, at 2311 Eighth St.
Capt. David Thoroughman located and stopped the suspect's vehicle in about the 3200 block of River Road.
Police officers David Brown, Jon Peters and NS Special Agent J.P. Fulton responded to the scene, where Skaggs was read his rights.
Officers said they observed cut copper wire in a white plastic bucket in the rear of his vehicle, where they also observed a bag containing several hand tools.
Thoroughman recovered a pair of 9-inch lineman side-cutting pliers from Skaggs' rear pants' pocket.
The police report said Skaggs first told authorities he found the copper wire on the ground, and that he did cut it up and put it in the back of his vehicle. But officers said after he was taken to the spot where he said he found the wire, he admitted he cut it from a pole.
The copper wire was returned to Fulton, and the vehicle and criminal tools were impounded by Peters.