$30,000 copper caper thief charged

Staff reports

A Donaldsonville man was arrested Nov. 30 in connection with multiple thefts of copper, aluminum, and central air condition units from within the city limits of Donaldsonville, Sheriff Jeff Wiley reported.

In late October,  three central A/C units were stolen from St. Assisi Catholic Church on W. 10th Street.

In early and mid-November the Ascension Parish Government building on Chetimatches Street was struck twice and four central A/C units were stolen.

In early November, the Sheriff's Office also began investigating the theft of copper coils from the central air-conditioning unit at Marchand Law Firm on Chetimatches Street.

Wiley said detectives speculated that the air-conditioners were being stolen to sell the copper as scrap because the price of copper was at an all time high.

The total monetary value loss to the victims in these cases added up to approximately $30,000, the sheriff said.

Detectives monitor the scrap yards, but because copper is cut up prior to being sold it is difficult to identify what is stolen.

During the investigation of the above crimes, Ascension detectives learned that the Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office had recently arrested Jermaine Jackson of Donaldsonville for similar crimes, the sheriff said. Ascension detectives had assisted the Assumption Sheriff's Office on Nov. 24 in recovering some of their stolen property from one of Jackson's relative's home in Donaldsonville. 

After questioning, Jackson was arrested in connection with the thefts from the church, governmental building, and law firm. Following his arrest, Ascension authorities discovered that Jackson had sold the stolen property to scrap yards in Morgan City and Baton Rouge, Wiley said.

Jackson, 31, of 103 W. 6th Street, was arrested and charged with four counts of felony theft, Wiley said.