by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. - Sandy Springs police have charged two men for stealing thousands of dollars' worth of copper wiring from two cell towers.
Randy Cape, 55, and Winfred McKenzie, 51, face burglary, theft and other charges, police said.
Police told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik an officer on patrol spotted Cape standing in the woods on Pitts Road last Monday.
"He was muddy and looked like he'd been through some brush," said Sandy Springs Police Officer Forrest Bohannon. "They actually put him under surveillance and saw him being picked up by a white pickup truck."
When officers pulled over the pickup truck, driven by McKenzie, they found a duffel bag in the back with copper wiring and bolt cutters. An incident report said they also found a receipt from a metal recycling center.
"They determined the theft was over $13,000 and they planned to probably take it to recycle it," said Bohannon.
Bohannon said the risk associated with stealing from the cell towers far outweighs the benefits.
"They are putting themselves at risk of electrocution when stealing metals out of things that run power to them and also the risk of being arrested for a felony," he said.
A representative from one of the affected towers, American Tower, did not return a call seeking comment. A representative from Crown Castle told Petchenik the thefts are a nuisance.