Published: Oct 15, 2010 11:26 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 15, 2010 12:52 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - Charlotte County Sheriff's detectives arrested a wastewater treatment plant employee and two accomplices for stealing copper wire at the facility Thursday night in Port Charlotte.

Detectives received a tip and began surveillance on a blue van; they followed it and watched the van drive down Old Landfill Road, a dead end road into the water treatment plant at 3100 Loveland Blvd. A CCSO Aviation helicopter was called and using night vision equipment, located the van on the property that is secured by an electronic fence. Detectives went in and located the van, three adults and an 8 year old boy with them. They observed a ladder positioned under a power box with a large copper line cut and a rope tied around it. At another power box about 100 feet away, a pair of bolt cutters was also located. They also found a canvas bag containing tools and beer.

Detectives took the three men and the boy to the District Office for questioning. The three were identified as Paul Anthony Davis, 45, 6334 Granger Rd., Gardens of Gulf Cove; Robert Christopher Carroll, 46, and Gregory Sean Turner, 42, both of 3745 Blitman St., Gulf Cove. Turner is the father of the little boy.

Detectives learned the three men had planned the theft and Davis let Carroll and Turner into the secured property with the van around 8:30 p.m. It was also learned that this was the second time copper was stolen from a building on the property that occurred about two weeks ago. The stolen copper wire was taken to Allied Recycling and sold for $900 and split amongst all three men. The investigation continues.

Davis, Carroll, and Turner were transported to the Charlotte County Jail and all were charged with Grand Theft and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. Bond was set at $3,500 each.