An organized effort by the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office Copper Theft Task Force and the quick response by two deputies have resulted in the arrest of three alleged copper theft suspects.
On June 8, Sergeant Investigator Wayne Stratton, who heads up the Copper Theft Task Force, was notified of a possible theft in progress at a tower on IH 37 and County Road 427, ten miles south of Pleasanton. Deputies Kevin Draughn and Kelley Trevino responded and arrived in the area within six minutes. The deputies observed a truck speeding away from the tower site and gave chase. The deputies were able to get the truck to stopped and discovered over 1,500 foot of #2 copper wire in the bed of the 1991 Chevrolet pickup truck. The trio who occupied the truck were arrested and charged with Theft of Copper, a State Jail Felony. They are identified as Alfred Scott Buffalo, 34, 309 E. White Street San Antonio, James Van Hardy, 37, 14146 IH 35 S., Von Ormy, and Kelly Levesque, 36, 655 W. Villaret, San Antonio. Bond on each suspect was set at $25,000 by Justice of the Peace Betty Caballero. Chief Deputy David Soward stated the value of the copper that was stolen is nearly $2,000. “That’s not to mention the damage and the labor involved in replacing the copper wiring”, Soward added. The Chief Deputy stated that the Task Force that was created about a year ago continues to make headway in the ever increasing number of copper thefts. “We have a few surprises up our sleeves for the copper thieves, and they’re going to get caught”, Soward stated.