Westerville News & Public Opinion

Wire in transformer boxes, pipes in houses hit by copper thieves

Four thefts of copper were reported in Westerville in the last week, marking the third consecutive week Westerville police have received such reports.

Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer said jurisdictions across central Ohio have been struck with copper thefts in recent weeks, and law-enforcement agencies are working together on the crimes.

In Westerville, copper wire was stolen between 6 p.m. Nov. 3 and noon Nov. 4 from a transformer box attached to a retail building at 320 S. State St. The cost to replace the wire is estimated at more than $5,000, police reported.

About 15 feet of copper wire was stolen between 5 p.m. Nov. 2 and 7 a.m. Nov. 5 from a transformer box at 690 Greencrest Drive.

Copper piping was stolen from a residence in the 400 block of Woodmont Court between 9 p.m. Nov. 2 and 8 a.m. Nov. 7, and also from a residence in the 300 block of South Sunbury Road between 8 a.m. Nov. 4 and 1 p.m. Nov. 5.

In other recent Westerville police incident reports:

* A 22-year-old man was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, being involved in a hit-skip accident and failure to control a vehicle. According to police, the man hit a parked car in the 600 block of Kienle Avenue about 3:30 a.m. Nov. 5 before running his car into a tree farther down the block.

* A large trailer parked in the lot of 999 County Line Road was reported stolen between 5 p.m. Nov. 5 and 1 p.m. Nov. 6.

* A 23-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman were arrested at 6:45 p.m. Oct. 29 for stealing two Westerville street signs.

Genoa Township

A group of middle-school-aged girls reported that they were approached, harassed and chased by a man while playing in the park at the corner of Willow Bend Lane and Lynbrook Way between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Nov. 9, Genoa Township police reported.

The girls told officers a man in black sweatpants and a black, hooded sweatshirt approached them and asked how old they were and where they lived. When the girls ran, they said the man chased them in his car, shouting profanities at them. The man was driving an older model, damaged burgundy car with tinted windows and chipped paint was chipped and appeared that it had been hit a few times, the girls told police.