UPDATE | Second man arrested after transformer destroyed on mining property

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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 3/14/19 @ 5 p.m.
A second man is in custody in connection with a copper theft incident that destroyed a transformer on mining property and caused a power outage, Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies say.

Henry Lee Chapman, 57, of Cannelton, West Virginia, was arrested Thursday. He turned himself in at the Kanawha County Courthouse.

Another man, Larry Edward Patton, 47, of Gallagher, West Virginia, was arrested Tuesday and faces numerous charges.

Investigators say the incident happened March 4 at Contura Energy/Mammoth Coal Company along East Dupont Avenue in London. That’s in Kanawha County near the Fayette County line.

Investigators say the total loss in stolen equipment, damaged equipment, and time lost during a subsequent power outage was more than $268,000.

Company security followed the suspects, who left on an ATV, after the incident and found a large pry bar, an electrical meter and bolt cutters inside that ATV.



UPDATE 3/13/19 @ 3:50 p.m.
A second man is wanted in a copper theft incident that destroyed a transformer on mining property and caused a power outage, Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies say.

Investigators say the incident happened March 4 at Contura Energy/Mammoth Coal Company along East Dupont Avenue in London. That’s in Kanawha County.

Henry Lee Chapman, 57, of Cannelton, West Virginia, is the wanted man.

Larry Edward Patton, 47, of Gallagher, West Virginia, was arrested Tuesday and faces numerous charges.

Investigators say the total loss in stolen equipment, damaged equipment, and time lost during a subsequent power outage was more than $268,000.

Company security followed the suspects, who left on an ATV, after the incident and found a large pry bar, an electrical meter and bolt cutters inside that ATV.

Investigators say Chapman agreed to turn himself in to deputies on Tuesday, but failed to do so.

Anyone with information about Chapman's whereabouts is asked to call 304-357-0169, or their local law enforcement agency. They also may send tips to the department's Facebook page, their website at www.kanawhasheriff.us, or by email to tips@kanawhasheriff.us.



ORIGINAL STORY 3/12/19
A man from Kanawha County faces charges in connection with destroying a transformer earlier this month while allegedly stealing copper, Kanawha County court records show.

Larry Edward Patton Jr., 47, of Gallagher, is charged with attempted grand larceny, destruction of property and conspiracy.

Investigators say the incident happened March 4 at Contura Energy/Mammoth Coal Company along East Dupont Avenue in London. That’s in Kanawha County.

Mining company employees noticed two men going through the inside of the transformer. Power was down at the time in one of the property’s plants. Both men took off in a side-by-side ATV with tools inside.

Employees tracked the men down to a home along Finale Lane in Cannelton, West Virginia. That’s in Fayette County.

Investigators later found a large pry bar, an electrical meter and bolt cutters inside the ATV. One of the men admitted to removing the transformer and removing copper components. The value of the destroyed transformer was $5,000.

The other man involved in the incident assisted investigators and was not arrested, according to the criminal complaint.

Patton was taken to the South Central Regional Jail where he is being held on $5,000 cash-only bond.




 
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