They’d used a fork lift, busted into one of the sheds out there, Lt. Bruce Ferguson said.
Deputies told Channel 2’s Erin Coleman there was so much copper the men had to use saws and heavy machinery that was on site just to haul it away.
The copper’s fixing to be installed into the new jail, and it’s about 8 inches around. They took it, big, long strips, and cut it in sections to fit in the car, Ferguson added.
Officers say the suspect’s truck was parked on nearby Interstate 20. Deputies told Coleman the men walked from the highway through a tree line to get onto the construction site.
A Douglasville police officer patrolling the area saw the getaway truck and thought it looked suspicious. That’s when they discovered the theft.
Rafael Garcia, Francisco Mejia and Jose Soria Franco are charged with theft. A fourth suspect remains on the run.
I think it’s not too smart. We watch that thing. It’s watched all the time, so I don’t know if you want to take your chances. Take your chances, but you’re probably going to get caught, Ferguson said about the jail site.
Investigators say they’re looking to see if the three men had inside help from someone involved in the construction. Last month, thieves stole copper from the new 911 center, located right behind the new jail.