Published: Oct 11, 2010 4:40 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 11, 2010 1:40 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - Charlotte County Sheriff’s detectives arrested George Thomas Mosher, 20, Venice, for cutting and stealing copper ground wiring off Florida Power & Light poles in South Gulf Cover area.

On Oct. 5 at 9:09 p.m. the CCSO Aviation helicopter reported a suspicious white Plymouth van off Gaspirilla Rd. near vacant homes that was turning its headlights on and off. Aviation reported the van left the area when they saw the helicopter and drove to the BP station at 13423 S. McCall Rd. Deputies arrived and questioned the driver, Mosher. A search of the van located a Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal box containing recently cut copper wire and two pairs of wire cutters. His back pocket also had a piece of copper wire. Deputies also found a concealed four inch long knife with the handle wrapped in electrical tape, a scale and metal pipe with marijuana residue. At that time, deputies did not know of the copper theft, however, Mosher was arrested for Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Carrying a Concealed Weapon. He was transported to the Charlotte County Jail, and released on bond.

The next day (Oct. 6), an FPL supervisor reported copper ground wiring missing valued between $1,050 and $1,400. Further investigation revealed Mosher cut the copper wiring from seven power poles; four on Dinnaro St., and one each from the intersection of Blake Lane and Agate St., Blade Lane and Waldrep St., and Waldrep St. and Gershwin Lane.

Mosher was finally located Sunday (Oct. 10) at S. McCall and Manor roads; he was transported to the Charlotte County Jail and charged with Grand Theft, Unlawfully Tampering with Utility Services, plus Loitering and Prowling. He remains in jail on $4,000 bond.