Northwood Police earlier this month arrested a brother and sister for allegedly stealing copper pipes from vacant homes on the west side of the city.
Nelda Ormsby, 44, and her brother, Armando Perez, 32, were arrested at 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 3 after neighbors heard noise coming from a home on Tracy Road, according to Northwood Police Det. Ken Campbell.
They were charged with breaking and entering, theft, and vandalism, said Campbell.
Ormsby is cooperating with police, said Campbell. She told police the pair was responsible for eight break-ins of homes in an area bounded by Tracy, Andrus, Oregon and Wales roads, said Campbell.
The vandalism charge stems from the water damage caused by the theft of copper pipes in the homes, said Campbell. The police had to contact the Northwestern Water and Sewer District to cut off the supply of water following the crimes.
Copper and other metals have frequently been the target of thieves, not just in Northwood but across the country, because of their increasing value, particularly in a depressed economy, said Campbell.
According to Kitco.com, which provides information on the precious metals market, copper prices have risen from 1.5 cents per pound in 2009 to nearly 4 cents per pound in 2012. Much of the increase is due to high demand of raw materials in China.
Law enforcement over the years have also seen an increase in reports of thefts of catalytic converters because they contain platinum, and car batteries, because they can be recycled.
Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson said Perez appeared before the Perrysburg Municipal Court on August 14.
“He waived his preliminary hearing, and his case was bound over to the Wood County Grand Jury. His case is still being prepared to be presented to the grand jury,” he said. “Ms. Ormsby’s preliminary hearing is still pending. So she’s still over at the municipal court on her felony charges.”
Perez is in the Wood County jail. “He also has a pending probation violation based on a prior conviction,” said Dobson. Mr. Perez was previously convicted on one count of receiving stolen property and one count of breaking and entering.”
Northwood Police Chief Tom Cairl was pleased by the arrests, particularly since theft was a topic of discussion at a recent council meeting.