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2 men accused of pilfering copper to peddle

Posted May 26, 2008
Updated May 27, 2008

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— Two Johnston County men are accused of stealing $12,000 worth of copper from a Progress Energy substation.

Police said Dusty Toler, 20, and Donald Hayes, 26, stole copper wire and tools from a truck parked at the Hillsborough Street substation. It happened sometime late Sunday.

Toler also faces charges for stealing copper from North Johnston High School last week. A sheriff's deputy said Toler stole $14,000 worth of copper tubing from a construction site on campus.

The spokesperson said it is not only illegal to steal copper, but dangerous to break into a substation – considering the amount of electricity being generated. How the men breached security at the substation was not disclosed.

Toler and Hayes were being held Monday evening at the Wake County Jail.

Copper is not the only metal thieves are targeting. Police in both Wake and Johnston counties have received reports of thieves stealing storm grates to sell as scrap metal. Drain covers can be sold from $30 to as high as $80.


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  • enigma1469 May 27, 2008

    You can steal cars for thousands of dollars too. Isn't that news worthy.

  • chfdcpt May 27, 2008

    A few years ago in Orange Co, a brainiac got is Darwin Award when he tried to steal some copper wiring from a Duke Power substation. Problem was, that the wire he got ahold of was live. Yep, definite Darwin Award.

  • pleshy May 27, 2008

    I wonder if the copper in a penny is worth more than the face value of a penny? I already know it costs more than a penny to make a penny, but I wonder if I can actually get more for a penny from a scrap metal dealer than the face value. That would be excrutiatingly ironic.

  • john60 May 27, 2008

    I thought all recyclers were required to get receipts from people trying to sell them large amounts of copper to stop these kind of thefts? Looks like at least one didn't get the memo...

    Copper, cast iron, aluminum, platinum; soon people will be robbed just to get the gold out of their teeth...

  • Justin T. May 27, 2008

    If you steal a storm drain or manhole cover to make money... you are so dumb that prison won't help.

    The $50 - $80 will be a drop in the bucket towards your back and/or hernia operation.

  • knbwz May 27, 2008


    too funny but u would be rich

  • b4self May 27, 2008

    I can understand the copper being sold at these plants ,hard to know where that came from , but PLEASE the drain grills they have to know these belong to the state. They should be fined for buying them.

  • nodoginthisfight May 27, 2008

    To the copper mines with them.

  • mrtwinturbo May 27, 2008

    If I were going to steal anything it would be a tanker truck full of gasoline!! They hold 4000 gallons and then sell the truck

  • Distracted May 27, 2008

    And now that they have told everyone you can sell storm grates for up to $80...... ???