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Police: Man stole copper from Wake facilities

Posted March 12, 2013

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— A Raleigh man has been charged with stealing $35,000 in copper piping from Wake County facilities.

Whitarie Odwon Octetree, 32, of 1217 Fayetteville St., was charged with two counts each of felony larceny and obtaining property by false pretense. He was being held Tuesday in the Wake County jail under a $60,000 bond.

Police said Octetree stole $25,000 in copper pipes from five heating and air conditioning units at the county administrative services building on Feb. 18 and another $10,000 in piping from heating and air conditioning units at the Walnut Creek Wetlands Center three days later.

Octetree then tried to sell the stolen copper as scrap at Raleigh Metal Recycling, according to arrest warrants.


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  • so you dont like my opinion ok Mar 14, 2013

    Lock him up, not until the consequences are a high price to pay will people think twice before doing something wrong. Thieves and drug dealers are scum...

  • NCishome Mar 13, 2013

    I know of two electrical contractors (I sure there are more) who have had new and scrap wire stolen, yet the scrap yards only say they will be on the look out. Stealing is stealing.

  • miseem Mar 12, 2013

    Must be reporting on damage, not value of copper. It sells for about $3.75 on the market. A scrap dealer is not going to give you anywhere near that. Based on the numbers for the county admin building, there would have been over 6,000 pounds of copper in those units. Doubtful if that was the case. Anyway, I'm sure most scrap dealers are in business for the long haul and have enough legitimate business to make a good profit. Anyone hauling in a hundred pounds of copper AC tubing without a good reason will automatically be look at with suspicion. Someone with 6,000 pounds even more.

  • mattcli Mar 12, 2013

    "He probably figured insurance would pick up the bill with no concern for the inconvenience of others." -- teddybear199

    Far more likely than that is he just didn't care about anyone but himself.

  • TARHEELS83 Mar 12, 2013

    Stupid is, as stupid does!

  • teddybear199 Mar 12, 2013

    It's desperate times people. It seems they will get their drugs by any means. He probably figured insurance would pick up the bill with no concern for the inconvinence of others.

  • Rebelyell55 Mar 12, 2013

    The cost of the copper is high, but the damage he done will be even higher in cost to fix.
    Glad they're catching them. I saw a pig cooker at the scrap yard, asked about it. Told me to come back Tuesday. I check with them and they told me that the cooker was stolen. So guy go his cooker back, minus the wheels and grill. So yes they're doing more to report suspected stolen property being sold for scrap.

  • itsnotmeiswear Mar 12, 2013

    Law enforcement agencies need to set up some stings to trap the buyers not collecting proper ID before buying the scrap. This has been and is becoming more of a major problem for businesses as the thefts increase. If they throw a few of the buyers in jail, the market will dry up fast.

  • beachboater Mar 12, 2013

    I hope you called the police!!

  • Cock a doodle doo Mar 12, 2013

    A few weeks ago I was coming up South Saunders Street towards downtown at 4am, and I saw a man trying to drag an entire heat pump across the wide lanes of South Saunders Street!