Two Bryan Co. Men Arrested In Railroad Copper Wire Theft - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Two Bryan Co. Men Arrested In Railroad Copper Wire Theft

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BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- Two men who say they're down on their luck are now in jail after allegedly stealing copper wire from a railroad.

Deputies get a few calls a week about copper thefts -- in some cases, burglars even taking electric wire, cutting power at people's homes. But in this case, the alleged thieves disrupted power along a railroad.

Deputies in Bryan County say the stolen wire triggered a signal for  a loss in power at the BNSF tracks.

"The railroad received a signal about 8:30 in the morning and sent their guys out and realized the wire was gone," says Sheriff's office Sgt. Joey Tucker.

What the crooks didn't know was the railroad was watching, after a prior theft. "They set up a trail camera and on the trail camera we caught pictures of two male subjects actually taking the wire," says Tucker.

The pictures showed Michael Roam, 40, and Michael Davis, 42, using an ax to cut wire at a signal that switches between two tracks near Streetman Road last Thursday, Tucker said. The theft left 250 feet of wire missing and trains stopped for the morning.

"It shut down the railroad for quite a while. They couldn't use that track until they got that repaired," says Tucker.

According to the deputy's affidavit, Davis said he stole the copper because he needed the money to live and eat, while Roam, who was apprehended the next day, was still wearing the same clothes as in the surveillance pictures.

"They were chopping the wire and it looked like about five-foot lengths and I looked down on the ground and I saw a whole lot of it laying there. It was red and black," says Davis's landlord's mom Corene Phelps.

Davis's landlord on nearby South Texoma Road says he is $500 behind on rent and was told to leave. Now, Davis is in jail. "His daddy got him a van to go work, but he stole copper instead," says Ken Harris.

"I heard him say that's $200 worth and she's already put up that 200 to get him out," says Phelps.

Deputies say they located about 50 pounds of copper at a metal recycling shop on Sawmill Road near Durant.

"We got both of them in custody, got the copper back, and they're now sitting in jail," says Tucker.

The suspects are facing charges for destruction of railroad property, which is a felony, and possessing stolen copper. A judge set bond for each at $10,000.