Howard County police say two people are facing a charges after a series of thefts and home burglaries across the county.
Amid the downed trees and mangled branches from last week's storm in the 12500 block of Triadelphia Rd., there was a mixture of both old and new copper wires hang from telephone poles after some had to be replaced, the result, police said, of $87,000 in thefts within a span of less than two weeks.
"They were actually getting up high onto the poles and cutting down hundreds of feet that they were then selling for cash," said Sherry Llewellyn.
Howard County Police identify the suspects as Thomas Leo Hurley, 35, and Angela Marie King, 32. Both were arrested Monday in Carroll County on burglary and theft charges there, online court records show.
The investigation in Howard County started earlier this month after Verizon customers began experiencing service interruptions, Llewellyn said. Responding inspectors noticed entire sections of the copper-lined wiring were missing and contacted police.
Charges include multiple counts of theft, property crimes and burglary after police say they stole not only the copper wiring using a pickup truck, but hit several homes too.
"What we saw with their MO in the home burglaries is that they were looking for open garages, and then they would run in and steal power tools or high-priced bicycles that they could resell," said Llewellyn.
In all, police said the spree stretched into five different areas in the county, in 17 separate occurrences.
Ultimately police said it was searches of local scrap yards and pawn shops that led them to identifying Hurley and King as suspects.
Arrest warrants have been signed for if and when they are released in the Carroll County case.
Police continue to investigate whether the two are linked to similar cases.