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Bank inspector walks in on residential copper theft in progress

July 22nd, 2014 10:20 pm by Jeff Bobo

Bank inspector walks in on residential copper theft in progress

Markus James Flanigan, 25

CHURCH HILL — A Hawkins County man who was allegedly caught red-handed attempting to steal copper wiring from a vacant bank-owned residence was arraigned Monday on charges including burglary and felony vandalism.

Friday afternoon Hawkins County deputies were dispatched to a burglary in progress complaint at 230 Ramey Town Road in the unincorporated area of Hawkins County north of Allandale. That area has a Church Hill mailing address.

Bank inspector Amber Ledger had gone to the residence, which is owned by Bank of America, to take photos of an ongoing renovation.

Ledger told HCSO Deputy Josh Byrd that as she entered the front door she observed a man exit the house from the basement and run toward a nearby residence.

The man was later identified as Markus James Flanigan, 25, 226 Ramey Town Road, Church Hill.

Upon his arrival, Byrd spoke to Flanigan, who allegedly admitted entering the house without permission for the purpose of stealing copper.

"Flanigan stated he carried a pair of tree snips inside so he could cut the electrical wires," Byrd stated in his report. "Flanigan told officers after entering the building he walked down the stairs to the basement. He observed the wires and started cutting." Byrd added, "I observed three to four foot sections of electrical wire laying on the basement floor. I also observed two light fixtures that had the wire snipped, and the fuse box."

Byrd further alleged that wires to the hot water heater had also been cut, along with several other cut wires hanging from the sub floor.

The snips were reportedly recovered outside between the bank's house and Flanigan's house.

"Flanigan also told officers he had planned to sell the wire for extra money," Byrd added.

A July 30 preliminary hearing date was set for Flanigan in Hawkins County Sessions Court.

As of Tuesday Flanigan remained held in the Hawkins County Jail on $7,500 bond.

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