Conover copper theft suspect arrested

Police think they may have caught the man responsible for the thefts of $60,000 in copper wiring from an abandoned Conover plant in recent weeks.

Within the past month, there have been multiple copper cable larcenies at an abandoned manufacturing plant near 405 Wortha Herman Road Southwest in Conover.

“We caught somebody, but we didn’t catch him in that same building,” Conover Police Chief Steve Brewer said. “He was in the area and in the woods. He came out and had burglary tools.”

Conover police charged James Finley Estep, 40, of Connelly Springs, with possession of burglary tools.  

Estep has not been charged for the copper thefts and has since been released from jail. However, Conover police say there is strong reason to believe Estep is connected to the wiring thefts.

To read more of this story, pick up the Friday edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.