Four SC Residents Arrested for Stealing Power Lines

October 11, 2013
10-11-2013 Four Suspects in Stolen Line Case

(L-R) Marty Vaughn, Sandie Vaughn, Melissa Smith, and Terry Allen

A unique style of stealing copper wire backfires on four South Carolina natives.

According to Investigator Darren Scarborough with the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office, a call was received Tuesday, October 8th around 8:00am of four suspicious people loading material into a truck off of Calhoun Falls Highway.

Scarborough said through further investigation, the stories of the four people did not sync up at all.

“We transported all four people to the Elbert County Detention Center, and some employees with the City of Elberton called us back down to the scene and they had located some Neutral Line that had been stolen”, explained Scarborough. “In the back of the truck underneath the tin was a manual limb trimmer, a pair of bolt cutters, and a set of side cutting pliers.”

Arrested at the scene were Melissa Smith, Terry Allen, Marty Vaughn, and Sandie Vaughn; all four of which are from the Iva-Belton, South Carolina area according to Scarborough.

The incident report stated that roughly two thousand feet of neutral line had been snipped and stolen from power lines in the area.

Scarborough explains the process of how the perpetrators actually stole the line.

“What they were doing was hooking the manual limb trimmer over the power line, and when you pull a rope there is a blade that swings out and cuts, so I think they were pulling down on the line and when it snapped they would take the bolt cutters and reach up as far as they could, and then would cut off what they could reach and roll it up.”

All four currently remain in custody at the Elbert County Detention Center, where each faces one count each of Criminal Trespass, Misdemeanor Theft by Taking, Felony Theft by Taking, and Possession of Tools during the Commission of a Crime.

Bond has been set at one thousand dollars, with the exception being Marty Vaughn, in which case a bond has not been set at this time.