Forms Of Theft That People Are Generally Unaware Of

Interviewer: Are there any other forms of theft that people are generally not aware of?

Zach Peagler: In Alabama, the biggest one that seems to have the most value and has the most attention of the various district attorneys’ offices is the theft of copper wire. And people need to be extremely careful in dealing with copper, because you don’t know where it’s coming from and you could be charged with receiving stolen property. If you’re buying copper from people – if that’s a part of your business to build houses or commercial buildings – you need to know where it’s coming from.

Copper is Expensive to Purchase Through Proper Channels

Interviewer: What’s the story with that? I mean is it like – is copper one of those materials that is hazardous or is it one of those things that is rare?

Zach Peagler: It’s just expensive to buy it in through proper channels. And then it’s really accessible because you’ve got so many vacated homes or half-built homes or construction sites where there’s copper available and people can get to it pretty easily, and then they can sell it for a pretty good mark-up.

Mostly People Break into Automobiles to Steal Items of Value rather than Steal the Automobile Itself

Interviewer: What about auto theft, have you seen auto theft still?

Zach Peagler: Yeah we still get it. Most of the time the person hasn’t – they don’t really take the car. Most of the theft that we see involving auto mobiles is unlawful breaking and entering of a vehicle versus the more – the allegations are more of getting into a car to take things of value out of the car rather than to actually steal the car. And the smaller amount of cases we get involved in theft of cars – like you said, the security, the GPS on cars nowadays; it almost makes it not worth it and I think most people have come to that conclusion. So the thief that we see usually, it’s a joy riding type deal where they drive it few blocks or driving a few miles and leaves it on the side of the road and then most of these people – that’s why there’s not a lot of cases to defend.

Joyriders Stealing Vehicles Normally Do Not Get Caught as They Dispose of the Stolen Vehicle

I mean most of those people probably don’t get caught and there’s not a real serious push to use a lot of police resources to try to catch people that have gone joy riding. But we get a lot of people call for breaking and entering a vehicle and taking the radio out of it or something of that nature. And along those lines too, we get people charged with possession of burglar’s tools – especially people that have a prior criminal record. If the police thinks someone’s looking suspicious and they run their background and see they got prior felonies, and they’re especially related to thefts; they can arrest you of having a screwdriver in your pocket. So it is a- that’s kind of in my opinion of burglars charges out there, that they can really hammer people pretty hardly.

An Individual in Possession of A Swiss Army Knife Can be Prosecuted for Possession of Burglar’s Tools

Interviewer: Well what about like a multi-tool or something like that? Could they be charged for that?

Zach Peagler: A lot of times it’s an add-on. Unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle, they might also charge you for possession of burglar’s tools if you have a specific something like a crow bar or something like that in your possession. And it’s a separate felony charge.

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