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Suspect Found Hiding in Creek

Bartholomew County deputies and Columbus police arrested a suspect early Friday morning in a theft case after finding him hiding in a creek.  

Major Todd Noblitt, spokesman for the sheriff's department, said officers responded to a reported theft of copper wiring from a farm irrigation system this morning at about 3:30 a.m. in the 2600 block of South Gladstone Avenue. Noblitt said that this is the second copper wiring theft in the past few weeks. And as the weather gets warmer and the price for scrap metal remains high, he expects these sorts of crimes to continue.

"This has really become an epidemic nationwide, where farm equipment and irrigation systems are having the wires and the workings ripped out," Noblitt said. "Which causes a significant problem -- not only does it make it inoperable, but it is a very expensive repair for the farming community."

Noblitt said farm equipment and cell phone towers are prime targets for scrap metal thieves because they are not in populated areas.

Noblitt said that police arrested Gerald Reed, 46, of Indianapolis in this morning's incident after a police dog found him hiding in a creek near the irrigation equipment. 

Reed was first taken to Columbus Regional Hospital to be treated for hypothermia and then taken to the Bartholomew County Jail on a felony theft charge.

Last Updated: Friday, March 21, 2014 12:08:26 PM

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