Crime Tracker: Warehouse Burglaries

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By Sam Jones
By Joe Carr

WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- Warmer weather brings more construction and entices crooks to go after equipment. Now it seems they're expanding their targets. Most recently, two thieves broke into a gated storage facility to steal copper and aluminum.

They hit the site in rural Creal Springs twice this month, cutting locks and making off with very expensive supplies. Williamson County investigators hope surveillance video will mean a break in the case.

Under the cover of darkness, two men got through two security gates and a locked warehouse. They snuck inside Centennial Pipeline to grab all the copper and aluminum they could.

“It’s happened several times over the last few years and they're obviously getting tired of it,” Detective Randy Pritchard explained.

Surveillance cameras didn't work during the first burglary, but he thinks the same two men are behind both crimes at the rural site.

“Sometimes these people are fairly smart. They'll watch people coming and going, you know, when there's not a lot of traffic at the facility and that's when they'll go,” he added.

One of them has an unusual tattoo on his neck, the other wears unique shoes.

“We usually catch up with most of ‘em eventually. It isn't always quick, but we stay after them,” Pritchards said.

 E.T. Simonds Operations Manager Steve Ashe is all too familiar with similar thefts at their sites.

“It affects the bottom dollars on that, because we could be finish that job and move on to another one,” Ashe said.

It's the construction company's busy season, so they rely on cameras and security guards to keep thieves at bay.

“It's a little harder to watch the theft and stuff on our jobs right now, whereas in the winter time there’s not a lot sitting in the open, so we’re watching a little closer nowadays,” warned Ashe.

They've also learned to keep materials in a safe storage place. While that didn't help Centennial prevent this $5,000 theft, the video could help them recoup the loss.

Investigators say they have a good track record in solving these cases. They're confident the two men will soon end up in jail. If you have any information about the crimes, contact the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department.

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