Two men accused of stealing copper from church
Two New Albany men were arrested at about 9:05 a.m. Monday after allegedly trying to sell copper down-spouts they had reportedly stolen from St. Marks United Church of Christ on Spring Street in New Albany.
Church officials first noticed two down-spouts missing June 15. Last Sunday night, they noticed five more missing.
A church trustee said he took a foot-long piece of copper to two local recycling places and told them to be on the lookout. He said that about an hour after he went to Riverside Recycling in New Albany, two men came in with shopping carts filled with crushed pieces of copper matching the description of the down-spouts stolen from St. Marks.
Donald W. Bruce, 45, of New Albany was arrested for receiving stolen property, a class D felony. Thomas M. Eaton, 30, of New Albany was arrested for theft, also a class D felony. They could face six months to three years in prison with up to a $10,000 fine if convicted. They are being held in the Floyd County Jail, and bond is fixed at $10,000. Each must pay $1,000 cash to be released.
The trustee said damage was done to the bricks holding the spouts as well. He said that if the thieves would have used screw drivers, there would have been no damage to the building.
The trustee said replacements will cost $4,500, not including installation costs and the cost to repair the bricks. He was told the thieves would have made about $290 recycling the copper.
The church plans to replace the pipes with a new metal. Copper theft has become a problem nationally with the price of copper soaring in recent years.