BRYAN- A man is behind bars after being caught red handed stealing dozens of copper wire from Bryan Texas Utilities.
Around 2 a.m. Sunday, a BTU employee spotted 44 year old Clinton Easter loading several rolls of copper wire into his truck.
"They literally caught him with a roll of copper in his hand," Bryan Police Officer Jon Agnew said, "And ordered him to the ground. He had a dolly with pre-stacked copper already loaded."
BTU Group Manager Gary Miller says copper theft is on the rise as the street value continues to increase.
"It's all about the value of copper,"Miller said, "It really skyrocketed recently. As it's climbed in value we have seen increased intrusion."
Easter attempted to steal dozens of copper rolls valued at a few thousand dollars. In the last year BTU has installed 10 security cameras due to the increased copper thefts on the premises.
"We believe our security system will not let that happen," Miller said, "Or minimize it over what it has been in the past."
In the last several months, the security cameras have caught three suspects attempting to steal copper.
"Anyway they can get copper," Officer Agnew said, "It doesn't matter how thick or small it is, if they get enough it's going to be worth some money."
And while BTU is now monitoring their facilities 24 hours a day, officials say construction sites and residents should be on the look out as well.
"We've been seeing for over a year copper thefts at residential, commercial and power companies," Agnew said.
Easter could face up to two years in prison if convicted.