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Second arrested in probe

ALBANY, Ga. -- Police made a second arrest in a copper theft case and obtained warrants for two more suspects, said Albany Police Department officials.

Police officers responded to a neighbor's complaint Oct. 23 about someone burning insulation off bundles of copper wires at 1801 S. Jackson St. Rasheen Donnell Wheeler, 28, was arrested on theft by receiving stolen property at the scene.

Wheeler now faces additional charges of making false statements to an officer, felony theft by taking and egregious littering, said police Cpl. Schemika Foster.

The "Georgia Criminal and Traffic Law Manual" defines egregious littering as "exceeding 10 pounds in weight."

Arrested for misdemeanor obstruction of an officer, Wheeler's cousin, Angel Wheeler, 20, was freed from Dougherty County Jail on a $1,400 bond, a jail spokeswoman said. Donnell Wheeler remains in jail, she added.

Officers swore out felony warrants in connection with the copper wire on Monica Swan and Richard Byrd Jr. for egregious littering, Foster said. Other charges against Swan include making false statements to police, she added.

Police would like help locating Swan and Byrd, or they can turn themselves in, Foster said.

Anyone with additional information should call Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS (8477) or investigations at (229) 431-3288. The Spanish speaking APD-COP Tip Line is (229) 434-2677.

Crime stoppers is an anonymous tipline. People with information could become eligible for cash rewards.

Besides copper wire police confiscated fiber-optic wiring during the arrests. Police could have about 200 pounds of stolen copper, air conditioning parts and other wire stored.

Anyone who has had wire or air conditioning coils stolen should stop by the Law Enforcement Center at 201 W. Oglethorpe Blvd. to identify the stolen materials, or they can call the police at (229) 431-2100.

"If anyone calls we need specific information about the stolen property to identify it," Foster said. "Serial numbers or something. We would really like to find out about the fiber-optic wire."