Local News

2 Men Charged in Fayetteville Copper Thefts

Posted January 12, 2007 2:51 p.m. EST
Updated January 12, 2007 10:33 p.m. EST

Two Fayetteville men were arrested Friday for stealing thousands of dollars in copper from a construction site, authorities said.

Cumberland County deputies took Richard Thomas Bingham, 20, of 1124 Wildwood Drive, and Mark Wayne Burns, 18, of 2441 Wilmington Highway, into custody after the two men sold the metal to a local salvage company. They have both been charged with felony larceny and possession of stolen goods.

Investigators said the two men sold several air-conditioning coils valued at more than $12,000. Serial numbers indicated that the metal was stolen from air-conditioning units installed in homes under construction off Sandhill Road.

Bingham was being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center on $11,000 bond. Burns was ordered held at the facility on $1,000 bond.

Both men are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

Fayetteville police reported more than 300 copper thefts in 2006, with a similar spike in thefts also reported by Cumberland County sheriff’s officials.

Law enforcement officials have kept a close eye on copper sales at area salvage yards. State law requires yard operators to keep records of everyone who brings in metal to sell.