PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff’s detectives arrested a man who cut and stole copper grounding wire Sunday night off the rooftop of SunTrust Bank, 18501 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte. Arrested was Jonathan Ashley Hoke, 35, 13616 Clara Lane, Gardens of Gulf Cove, and charged him with Burglary and Grand Theft.
CCSO received a call Sunday around 10 p.m. of a suspicious person seen on top of the SunTrust building. When deputies arrived they found Hoke in the parking lot who said his wife dropped him off as they left their SUV to consolidate to one vehicle for an Easter gathering. Hoke was released.
Detectives contacted the property manager for the bank building and they went to the roof and observed 200 feet of copper grounding wire had been cut off and missing. The manager said this is the second time this has happened and value to replace and repair the copper was around $10,000.
Detectives then went to Hoke’s home and as they approached the front door, they noticed freshly cut copper wire in the back of a Chevrolet pickup in the driveway. Hoke told detecives his wife took his pickup home and he drove her SUV with her keys, one was a key to the building as his wife is also a property manager for the building. Detectives said Hoke went to SunTrust, used his wife’s key to enter the building, then her office where a key was kept in her desk drawer to gain access to the roof of the bank. Hoke cut the wire and threw it off the roof from the multi-story building. He put the key back in the desk, loaded the stolen copper wire in his wife’s SUV, and drove home. He placed the copper wire in the bed of his pickup.
Hoke was arrested and taken to the Charlotte County Jail; he posted a $5,000 bond and was released.