New Database Pays Dividends, Help Nab First Copper Thief

November 8, 2007 - Investigators from the Houston Police Department’s Burglary and Theft Division, with the assistance of a new scrap metal dealers’ electronic database, have arrested and charged a suspect responsible for the theft and sale of several thousand pounds of copper telephone cable, worth more than $4,000, to scrap metal businesses in Houston.

The suspect, Bobby Joe Crain (b/m, DOB: 1-18-55), of 8614 Prima, is charged with felony theft in the 232nd State District Court following his arrest on Monday (November 5).

On November 1, investigators from the HPD Burglary and Theft Division inspected a scrap metal business, The Metal House, at 3119 Jensen Drive and discovered 245 pounds of copper telephone cable belonging to A T & T purchased on October 30th and 31st.

Using the purchase receipt, which contained the name and identification of the suspect, the suspect’s information was entered into the Leads Online database. The database produced Crain as the suspect and also determined he had sold 829 pounds of the same type of copper telephone wire to another scrap metal yard in the Houston area. Transaction records of this sale obtained through electronic reporting positively identified Crain as the suspect in this case.

On Monday (Nov. 5), officers responded to a call that Crain was attempting to sell another load of copper telephone wire at 3119 Jensen Drive. Crain was taken into custody and 431 pounds of stolen copper telephone wire were recovered.

VHS/JFC 11-8-07
Inc.# 162776907

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.