Alton Police believe they have put an end to a string of copper thefts dating back to last year. Authorities arrested and charged 28 year old Johnny B. Spencer of East St. Louis this week after police say they found him attempting to burn plastic casings from cooper wire in a residents yard on Belle Street Tuesday morning. Spencer could be connected with up to 20 copper thefts, including Christmas lights at Rock Spring Park.
Police say their investigations are pointing to Spencer in connection with a number of copper thefts at homes and businesses near the downtown and west end of the city, with a large number occurring in just the last two weeks. Barrett Heating and Cooling, Maher's Auto and Truck Service and the Big Muddy Pub were all listed as victims in the charges this week. Police believe Spencer would steal the wire, strip it down to the copper and take it to a local scrap dealer outside of Alton. His bond has been set at $40,000.