When Bryan County law enforcement officers went to a Pembroke-area home to serve warrants Thursday, they found two men burning insulation off a large amount of copper wiring. Suspicious, they contacted Statesboro Police, and detectives determined the wiring was stolen from the Statesboro area, said Statesboro Police Chief Stan York.
Bryan County Sheriff's investigators and Pembroke Police officers went to the Pembroke area home to serve warrants on a separate issue, and found two men had "started a fire and were burning the insulation off the wire, so to expose the valuable copper. Evidence at the scene led the investigators to believe that the wire may have been stolen from the Statesboro area," York said.
When Statesboro Police Det. Ben Purvis went to the Pembroke home, he recovered the wire and found it had been stolen Wednesday from the new Julia P. Bryant Elementary school construction site at the intersection of West Main Street and Stockyard Road, York said. "The wire belonged to Y-Delta Electrical of Statesboro."
Purvis arrested Michael Brandon Sharpe, 33, Camilla Drive, Pembroke, and Kevin Allen Lee, age 35, of an undisclosed street address in Bloomingdale, both on burglary charges.
Sharpe was taken to the Bulloch County Jail, while Lee remains in the Bryan County Jail, awaiting extradition while other issues are resolved, York said.
There are other copper wiring thefts currently under investigation that may be linked to the one Wednesday, York said. Someone stole copper wiring Jan. 29 from the same location; about $7,000 worth of copper electrical wiring, also belonging to Y-Delta, was taken that night, he said.
That same weekend, another burglary was reported at Georgia Power, also on Stockyard Road, he said.
"At this point it is unknown if the two men arrested in Pembroke are also responsible for either weekend incident," York said. "However investigations are ongoing."
Anyone with information about these or other crimes is asked to contact the Statesboro Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division. 912-764-1542. "Information that is provided will be held in strict confidence," he said.