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DEPUTIES: New Law Helps Nab Duke Energy Copper Thief

A check with metal recycling companies led deputies to a man they say stole thousands of dollars of copper wire.

Lenoir County deputies have charged James Hewitt of Kinston with obtaining property by false pretense, felony injuring utility wiring fixtures, trespassing, damage to personal property and transporting/possession of copper wiring over 25 pounds.

Deputies say back on November 5th, Duke Energy reported the theft of some $15,000 in copper clad wiring from one of their power sites on Tick Bite Road.

Thanks to a law passed last year, metal recyclers are now required to document what it sold to them and ID the seller. Duke was able to identify some of the copper taken from their site and deputies tracked down the seller.

The 34-year-old Hewitt was jailed on an $18,000 secured bond, while deputies say additional arrests are pending.


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