HPD Investigators Arrest Two More Copper Thieves

September 12, 2007 - Investigators from the Houston Police Department Burglary and Theft and Major Offenders Divisions have arrested two suspects believed responsible for copper thefts from a church in the near northside area.

The first suspect, Byron Lee Freeman (b/m, DOB: 4-20-71), is charged with felony criminal mischief in the 183rd State District Court. A second suspect, George Edward Thomas (b/m, DOB: 9-29-51), is charged with failure to identify himself to a police officer in Harris County Criminal Court #1.

According to investigators, a witness observed Freeman and Thomas breaking into the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church at 2801 Conti with a large bag of tools on August 22. Both suspects were observed returning with the air conditioning unit from the church and copper wiring they had removed.

They caused approximately $30,000 worth of property damage to the church.

On August 27, officers responded to a call regarding a witness holding a suspect in the 2700 block of Opelousas. Thomas and Freeman, who are both homeless, were positively identified and arrested and charged in this crime.

A follow-up investigation by the HPD Major Offenders Division determined Thomas was also wanted for a parole violation.

VHS/JFC 9-12-07
Inc #126583707

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