OCONEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Seven people have been arrested in connection with the theft of wires from utility poles in Oconee County.
The wire thefts happened along Pickens Highway, Highlands Highway and Sherwood Drive near Walhalla and Longcreek Highway near Westminster in January and February, according to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators said the total cost of the thefts, including labor and materials, is just over $97,000.
36-year-old Daniel Eugene Fortner, 61-year-old Ricky Edward Wood, 57-year-old Bobby Chris McGuffin, and 59-year-old Jeb Daniel Hart each face multiple counts of Obtaining Nonferrous Metals, Disruption of Service to Critical Infrastructure or More than 10 Customers.
According to deputies, Harrison Edward Orr was found in possession of an aluminum casing from the wires and charged with receiving stolen goods. He also faced drug charges after methamphetamine was found in his home, the sheriff’s office said.
42-year-old Heather Rapheal Jarema and 42-year-old Evelyn Marie Shead were each charged with Accessory after the Fact of a Felony. Jarema was accused of transporting the stolen wire while Shead was accused of assisting in the transport and sale of the stolen wire, according to warrants.
Oconee County deputies said they are still investigating five more cases involving the theft of wires from utility poles along Longcreek Highway near Westminster and Clemson Highway and Broadway Street near Seneca.
Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at oconeesccrimestoppers.com.