Neighbors Nab Alleged Copper Thief

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police say a woman's watchful eye helped them catch a man who was stealing copper from homes in Wilmington. NBC10's Chris Cato has the details.

    Being a nosy neighbor isn’t always a bad thing. Police say one neighbor’s watchful eye helped bring a copper thief to justice.

    Martha Manning was at her home in the Highlands section of Wilmington on Tuesday when she noticed a stranger at a house across the street. Manning says the man was yanking the downspout out of the home’s gutters, which are made of copper.

    “After he grabbed the second one, I asked him what was going on,” said Manning. “He said, ‘Just working on the gutters.’”

    But Manning didn’t buy his story and took several pictures of his truck. She then says she saw him carry part of a gutter on his shoulder, toss it inside the vehicle and then drive away.

    “He was fast,” said Manning. “He moved quickly.”

    Fortunately for her neighbor, so did Manning. She sent her pictures to police and her neighborhood email list. That same day, another resident spotted the truck, wrote down the tag number and contacted police, who had all the info they needed to arrest the alleged culprit, 27-year-old Reed McCready. Investigators say McCready’s Facebook Page shows the same Blue Ford F250 that Manning took pictures of.

    “It was really a team effort and the neighbors are keeping an eye out for each other,” said Highlands resident Rich Macha. “So that’s a good thing.”

    Police say McCready ripped the copper gutters off of three other homes in the Highlands. They also say he had plenty of time to scout them, because he lived in the neighborhood.

    McCready had nine bags of heroin on him when police arrested him, according to investigators. He was released from jail on a $10,000 bond.