Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Covert Operation Helps Catch Copper Thieves Cold

Covert Operation Helps Catch Copper Thieves Cold

April 17, 2013

Often police work involves taking reports of crimes after they occur. Last night it was a little different.

After several incidents of copper thefts in Ginter Park and nearby neighborhoods this year, Fourth Precinct officers decided to show their mettle by staging a covert surveillance operation on possible targets.

Soon after staging, a patrol officer was alerted to a suspicious person in the area of the Children’s Hospital at 2924 Brook Road. Just three blocks away – the officers on the operation were able to immediately assist the patrol officer and engage in the rapid developments of the investigation that soon resulted in two arrests and the recovery of stolen property. 

“We saw an established pattern, planned the operation and put resources in place. We hope this covert operation’s success will go a long way towards stopping these thefts in this area,” Sector Lieutenant Chris Gleason said. “This is a reminder to those thinking of criminal activity. You may see officers in Outdoor Roll Calls, in vehicles, on bicycle or walking patrols – but you also might not notice us at all. That doesn’t mean we’re not there.”

Arrested and charged with larceny are (top photo) Ebon J. Fife, 25, of the 300 block of Hibiscus Drive in Henrico, and Lamont A. Phillips, 31, of the 17100 block of Pryor Lane in Montpelier.

Anyone with any information about this or similar crimes is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000. Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by your tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.